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Psychiatry Res. 2006 Dec 7;145(2-3):155-67. Epub 2006 Nov 1.

Psychopathology in the young offspring of parents with bipolar disorder: a controlled pilot study.

Author information

  • 1Pediatric Psychopharmacology Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, 185 Alewife Brook Parkway, Suite 2100, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. dhirshfield@partners.org

Abstract

Studies have suggested that the offspring of parents with bipolar disorder are at risk for a spectrum of psychopathology, but few have focused on children in the youngest age ranges or examined the impact of comorbid parental disorders. We utilized a pre-existing sample of young (mean age: 6.8 years) offspring of parents with bipolar disorder (n=34), of parents with panic or major depression (n=179), and of parents with neither mood or anxiety disorder (n=95). Children were assessed blindly to parental diagnoses using the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia-Epidemiologic version (K-SADS-E). Offspring of bipolar parents had significantly higher rates of disruptive behavior and anxiety disorders than offspring from both of the comparison groups, accounted for by elevated rates of ADHD and overanxious disorder. These comparisons were significant even when lifetime histories of the corresponding categories of comorbid disorders in the parents (disruptive behavior disorders and anxiety disorders) were covaried. In addition, offspring of bipolar parents had increased rates of bipolar I disorder, compared with psychiatric controls. Results support the hypotheses of elevated behavior, anxiety, and mood disorders among offspring at risk for bipolar disorder, and suggest that this psychopathology is already evident in early childhood.

PMID:
17083985
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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