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J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2003 Winter;13(4):531-43.

Temperament and character factors in a prepubertal and early adolescent bipolar disorder phenotype compared to attention deficit hyperactive and normal controls.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.



To compare temperament and character (T/C) factors in a prepubertal and early adolescent bipolar disorder phenotype (PEA-BP), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and normal community controls (NC).


Subjects in PEA-BP (n = 101), ADHD (n = 68), and NC (n = 94) groups were diagnostically assessed with the Washington University in St. Louis Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia given separately to mothers about their children and to children about themselves. Diagnosis of PEA-BP was defined as Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition, bipolar disorder (manic or mixed phase) with at least one cardinal symptom of mania (i.e., elation and/or grandiosity) to avoid diagnosing mania by symptoms that overlapped with those for ADHD. The Junior Temperament and Character Inventory (JTCI) was used to measure T/C factors. Separate JTCI data were obtained from mothers about their children and from children about themselves.


Parent- and child-reported novelty seeking were significantly higher in PEA-BP than in NC subjects. Novelty seeking was significantly higher in the ADHD group than in the NC group only by parent report. Parent and/or child report showed PEA-BP and ADHD subjects to be significantly less reward-dependent, persistent, self-directed, and cooperative than NC subjects. Parent-reported cooperativeness was significantly lower in PEA-BP than in ADHD subjects.


These findings are consistent with studies of novelty seeking in adults who had either BP or ADHD and are discussed in relationship to genetic studies of dopamine receptors and novelty seeking.

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