PBD Emotion Recognition.pdf (124.9 kB)

Deficits in Emotion Recognition in Pediatric Bipolar Disorder: The Mediating Effects of Irritability

Download (124.9 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 01.11.2013, 00:00 by Stewart A. Shankman, Andrea C. Katz, Alessandra M. Passarotti, Mani N. Pavuluri
Background: Pediatric Bipolar Disorder (PBD) is a debilitating condition associated with impairment in many domains. Social functioning is one of the disorder’s most notable areas of impairment and this deficit may be in part due to difficulties recognizing affect in others. Methods: In the present study, medication naïve youth with PBD were compared to age-matched healthy controls on their ability to a) distinguish between categorical emotions, such as happiness, anger, and sadness on the Emotion Recognition Test (ER-40) and b) differentiate between levels of emotional intensity on an adapted version of the Penn Emotional Acuity Task (Chicago-PEAT). Results: Results indicated that PBD youth misidentified sad, fearful, and neutral faces more often than controls, and PBD girls mislabeled ‘very angry’ faces more often than healthy girls. A mediation analyses indicated that these diagnostic group differences on emotion recognition were significantly mediated by irritability. Limitations: The Chicago-PEAT only examined variations in emotional intensity for the emotions happy and anger. Additionally, all results are correlational; therefore causal inferences cannot be made. Conclusions: Supporting previous literature, the present findings highlight the importance of emotion recognition deficits in PBD individuals. Additionally, the irritability associated with PBD may be an important mechanism of this deficit and may thus represent an important target for treatment.


This research was supported by National Institute of Mental Health grants R01MH081019, R01MH085639, RC1MH088462 and foundation grants from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Marshall Reynolds Foundation, NARSAD Foundation, and DANA Foundation


Publisher Statement

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Affective Disorders. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Affective Disorders ,Jan 2013 DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2012.06.021







Issue date