Caregiver Characteristics and Symptoms of Pediatric Bipolar Disorder
thesisposted on 24.02.2014 by Amy T. Peters
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The role of family dynamics in symptoms, course, and outcome of pediatric bipolar disorder (PBD) has been extensively studied. Individual caregiver characteristics have received less attention in the literature. Understanding how caregiver traits are related to child symptoms could have important implications for psychosocial treatment of pediatric bipolar disorder, where the parents are heavily involved. This study explored the direct and interactive associations between parent psychopathology, stress, efficacy, and coping and symptoms of pediatric bipolar disorder in 64 parents of children meeting DSM-IV criteria for bipolar I, II, or NOS. Results most consistently indicated that parent psychopathology predicted increased child mania and depression severity among parents with low, but not average or above average use of coping skills. Without effective coping skills, parent psychopathology may have significant effects of the severity of their child’s symptoms of mania or depression. Interventions which teach caregivers effective tools and skills to cope with their child’s illness may mitigate the effects of their own psychopathology and lead to more favorable treatment outcomes.