A Longitudinal Study of Family Functioning in Offspring of Parents Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder.

Published on Oct 1, 2019in Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry6.391
· DOI :10.1016/j.jaac.2018.10.011
Amit Shalev1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Pittsburgh),
John Merranko7
Estimated H-index: 7
(University of Pittsburgh)
+ 10 AuthorsBoris Birmaher93
Estimated H-index: 93
(University of Pittsburgh)
Objective To compare the longitudinal course of family functioning in offspring of parents with bipolar disorder (BD), offspring of parents with non-BD psychopathology, and offspring of healthy control (HC) parents. Method Offspring of parents with BD (256 parents and 481 offspring), parents without BD (82 parents and 162 offspring), and HC parents (88 parents and 175 offspring) 7 to 18 years of age at intake, from the Bipolar Offspring Study (BIOS), were followed for an average of 4.3 years. Family functioning was evaluated using the child- and parent-reported Family Adaptability and Cohesion Scale–II and the Conflict Behavior Questionnaire. The data were analyzed using multivariate multilevel regression, generalized linear estimating equation models, and path analysis. Results Families of parents with BD and parents with non-BD psychopathology showed lower cohesion and adaptability and higher conflict compared with HC families. There were no significant differences in cohesion and adaptability between families of parents with psychopathology. The effect of parental psychopathology on family functioning was mediated by parental psychosocial functioning and, to a lesser extent, offspring disorders. In all 3 groups, parent-reported family conflict was significantly higher than child-reported conflict. Across groups, family cohesion decreased over follow-up, whereas conflict increased. Conclusion Any parental psychopathology predicted family impairment. These results were influenced by the offspring’s age and were mediated by parental psychosocial functioning and, to a lesser degree, by offspring psychopathology. These findings emphasize the need to routinely assess family functioning in addition to psychopathology and provide appropriate interventions to parents and offspring.
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