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Family functioning in the context of parental bipolar disorder: associations with offspring age, sex, and psychopathology.

Published on Jan 1, 2015in Journal of Family Psychology
· DOI :10.1037/fam0000048
Rachel D. Freed4
Estimated H-index: 4
,
Martha C. Tompson20
Estimated H-index: 20
+ 4 AuthorsAude Henin32
Estimated H-index: 32
Abstract
Previous research has shown that families with a parent who has bipolar disorder (BD) may experience family functioning difficulties. However, the association between family functioning and psychopathology among offspring of parents with BD, and offspring characteristics that may moderate this association, remains poorly understood. This study examined the cross-sectional associations between family functioning (cohesion, expressiveness, and conflict) and psychopathology in 117 offspring (ages 5–18) of 75 parents with BD. We also examined whether age and sex differences moderated these associations. We measured offspring psychopathology by examining current dimensional symptoms and DSM–IV emotional and behavioral disorders. Correlational analyses indicated that higher family conflict and lower cohesion were associated with higher internalizing and externalizing symptoms in offspring. Lower family cohesion was also associated with current offspring mood disorders. Moderation analyses indicated, first, that the link between lower family cohesion and internalizing symptoms was stronger for younger offspring compared to older offspring. Second, higher family conflict and current mood disorder were associated in younger males but not in older males or in females. Results remained the same after controlling for parental anxiety or substance use disorder comorbidity. Our study highlights the importance of accounting for family functioning when working with offspring at risk for BD, while also recognizing that the connections between family functioning and offspring outcomes are complex and differ based on offspring sex and developmental stage.
  • References (75)
  • Citations (4)
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References75
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The present study examined stress generation in a developmental and family context among 171 mothers and their preadolescent children, ages 8–12 years, at baseline (Time 1) and 1-year follow-up (Time 2). In the current study, we examined the bidirectional relationship between children’s depressive symptoms and dependent family stress. Results suggest that children’s baseline level of depressive symptoms predicted the generation of dependent family stress 1 year later. However, baseline dependent...
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#1Evelyn Barron (Newcastle University)H-Index: 5
#2A Sharma (Newcastle University)H-Index: 7
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Abstract Background Aspects of family environment (FE) such as family support, organisational structure and levels of conflict can increase risk of Bipolar Disorder (BD) in offspring of BD parents. Methods The family environment of 16 BD and 23 healthy control (HC) families was assessed using the Family Environment Scale (FES). Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) was used to determine the degree of variation in scores on the FES dimensions within each family and a Generalised Linear Modellin...
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Bipolar disorder (BP) is a debilitating illness in youth that increases the risk for suicide, psychosis, and substance abuse, and severely affects development and psychosocial functioning (1, 2). Retrospective studies have consistently shown that up to 60% of adult patients began to have symptoms of BP during their youth (3–5). However, it takes an average of 10 years to correctly identify and initiate treatment (3). Early diagnosis and treatment in BP youth is critical not only to stabilize moo...
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