Physical and Sexual Abuse and Early-Onset Bipolar Disorder in Youths Receiving Outpatient Services: Frequent, but Not Specific
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology
The objective of this study was to determine if physical and sexual abuse showed relationships to early-onset bipolar spectrum disorders (BPSD) consistent with findings from adult retrospective data. Participants (N = 829, M = 10.9 years old ± 3.4 SD, 60 % male, 69 % African American, and 18 % with BPSD), primarily from a low socio-economic status, presented to an urban community mental health center and a university research center. Physical abuse was reported in 21 %, sexual abuse in 20 %, and both physical and sexual abuse in 11 % of youths with BPSD. For youths without BPSD, physical abuse was reported in 16 %, sexual abuse in 15 %, and both physical and sexual abuse in 5 % of youths. Among youth with BPSD, physical abuse was significantly associated with a worse global family environment, more severe depressive and manic symptoms, a greater number of sub-threshold manic/hypomanic symptoms, a greater likelihood of suicidality, a greater likelihood of being diagnosed with PTSD, and more self-reports of alcohol or drug use. Among youth with BPSD, sexual abuse was significantly associated with a worse global family environment, more severe manic symptoms, a greater number of sub-threshold manic/hypomanic symptoms, greater mood swings, more frequent episodes, more reports of past hospitalizations, and a greater number of current and past comorbid Axis I diagnoses. These findings suggest that if physical and/or sexual abuse is reported, clinicians should note that abuse appears to be related to increased severity of symptoms, substance use, greater co-morbidity, suicidality, and a worse family environment.
Bipolar disorder, Sexual abuse, Physical abuse, Children, Adolescents
Tina DuRocher Schudlich, Eric A. Youngstrom, Maria Matinez, Jennifer Kogos Youngstrom, Kelly Scovil, Jody Ross, Nora C. Feeny, and Robert L. Findling (2015).
Physical and Sexual Abuse and Early-Onset Bipolar Disorder in Youths Receiving Outpatient Services: Frequent, but Not Specific. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.43 (3), 453-63.