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J Affect Disord. 1998 Nov;51(2):123-35.

Manic symptoms in psychiatrically hospitalized children--what do they mean?

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 11794-8790, USA.



To examine the clinical implications of manic symptoms in psychiatrically hospitalized children aged 5-12.


DSMIIIR manic symptoms, along with symptoms of other psychiatric disorders, were rated by parents and teachers on the Child Symptom Inventory IIIR prior to hospitalization. The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL; was also completed. During hospitalization children were evaluated by structured interview (K-SADS-E), and numerous rating scales weekly. Children with symptoms of mania (mania criteria with/without episodes) were compared to those without mania. Severity of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), depression, CBCL factors, and comparable factors from teacher and parent inpatient rating scales were examined. Finally, a subgroup of both groups of children treated with stimulants were compared at baseline and at least two weeks of treatment.


Children with manic symptoms had more severe ADHD, ODD and depression symptoms. CBCL scores on aggression, social and thought problems were higher. Teachers and nursing staff made similar observations. Time in hospital was greater for children with manic symptoms. Both groups improved significantly on stimulant medication though reduction in overall psychopathology was often modest.


Manic symptoms, regardless of whether or not they represent bipolar disorder, are a marker of serious psychopathology and treatment resistance.

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