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Further evidence of a bidirectional overlap between juvenile mania and conduct disorder in children.

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  • 1Pediatric Psychopharmacology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.



To investigate systematically the overlap between mania and conduct disorder (CD) in a sample of consecutively referred youths. It was hypothesized that neither CD nor manic symptoms were secondary to the other disorder and that children with the 2 disorders would have correlates of both.


Subjects were consecutively referred children and adolescents meeting DSM-III-R diagnostic criteria on structured diagnostic interview for CD (n = 116), mania (n = 110), and CD + mania (n = 76).


Of 186 children and adolescents with mania and of 192 with CD, 76 satisfied criteria for both CD and mania, representing 40% of youths with CD and 41% of youths with mania, respectively. Examination of the clinical features, patterns of psychiatric comorbidity, and functioning in multiple domains showed that children with CD and mania had similar features of each disorder irrespective of the comorbidity with the other disorder.


The data suggest that when mania and CD co-occur in children, both are correctly diagnosed. In these comorbid cases, CD symptoms should not be viewed as secondary to mania and manic symptoms should not be viewed as secondary to CD.

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