Attention and memory biases in the offspring of parents with bipolar disorder

Indications from a pilot study

Ian H. Gotlib, Saskia K. Traill, Rebecca L. Montoya, Jutta Joormann, Kiki Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

55 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Although children of bipolar parents are at heightened risk for developing emotional disorders, the processes underlying this vulnerability are not well understood. This study examined biases in the processing of emotional stimuli as a potential vulnerability marker of bipolar disorder. Methods: Sixteen children of bipolar parents who did not show any indication of having an emotional disorder at the time of testing and ten children of never-disordered control parents underwent a negative mood induction designed to activate cognitive schemas and were then administered an emotion Stroop task and a self-referent encoding task. Results: Children of bipolar parents were found to exhibit an attentional bias towards social-threat and manic-irritable words. Furthermore, although high- and low-risk children did not differ in their endorsement of positive and negative words as self-descriptive, the high-risk children demonstrated better recall of negative words than did the low-risk children. Conclusions: Thus, children without a mood disorder who are at high risk for developing a mood disorder were found to exhibit biases in attention and memory that are similar to those found for bipolar and unipolar depressed adults, suggesting that children at increased risk for affective disorder are characterized by potentially pathogenic cognitive structures that can be activated by sad mood. These findings offer insights into mechanisms of cognitive vulnerability for bipolar disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-93
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
Volume46
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

Fingerprint

Bipolar Disorder
Parents
Mood Disorders
Emotions

Keywords

  • Children of bipolar parents
  • Depression
  • Information processing biases
  • Risk factors
  • Vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

Attention and memory biases in the offspring of parents with bipolar disorder : Indications from a pilot study. / Gotlib, Ian H.; Traill, Saskia K.; Montoya, Rebecca L.; Joormann, Jutta; Chang, Kiki.

In: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, Vol. 46, No. 1, 01.01.2005, p. 84-93.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gotlib, Ian H. ; Traill, Saskia K. ; Montoya, Rebecca L. ; Joormann, Jutta ; Chang, Kiki. / Attention and memory biases in the offspring of parents with bipolar disorder : Indications from a pilot study. In: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines. 2005 ; Vol. 46, No. 1. pp. 84-93.
@article{a167ca5520da4dd89f05436ac6ce60f6,
title = "Attention and memory biases in the offspring of parents with bipolar disorder: Indications from a pilot study",
abstract = "Background: Although children of bipolar parents are at heightened risk for developing emotional disorders, the processes underlying this vulnerability are not well understood. This study examined biases in the processing of emotional stimuli as a potential vulnerability marker of bipolar disorder. Methods: Sixteen children of bipolar parents who did not show any indication of having an emotional disorder at the time of testing and ten children of never-disordered control parents underwent a negative mood induction designed to activate cognitive schemas and were then administered an emotion Stroop task and a self-referent encoding task. Results: Children of bipolar parents were found to exhibit an attentional bias towards social-threat and manic-irritable words. Furthermore, although high- and low-risk children did not differ in their endorsement of positive and negative words as self-descriptive, the high-risk children demonstrated better recall of negative words than did the low-risk children. Conclusions: Thus, children without a mood disorder who are at high risk for developing a mood disorder were found to exhibit biases in attention and memory that are similar to those found for bipolar and unipolar depressed adults, suggesting that children at increased risk for affective disorder are characterized by potentially pathogenic cognitive structures that can be activated by sad mood. These findings offer insights into mechanisms of cognitive vulnerability for bipolar disorders.",
keywords = "Children of bipolar parents, Depression, Information processing biases, Risk factors, Vulnerability",
author = "Gotlib, {Ian H.} and Traill, {Saskia K.} and Montoya, {Rebecca L.} and Jutta Joormann and Kiki Chang",
year = "2005",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/j.1469-7610.2004.00333.x",
language = "English",
volume = "46",
pages = "84--93",
journal = "Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines",
issn = "0021-9630",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Attention and memory biases in the offspring of parents with bipolar disorder

T2 - Indications from a pilot study

AU - Gotlib, Ian H.

AU - Traill, Saskia K.

AU - Montoya, Rebecca L.

AU - Joormann, Jutta

AU - Chang, Kiki

PY - 2005/1/1

Y1 - 2005/1/1

N2 - Background: Although children of bipolar parents are at heightened risk for developing emotional disorders, the processes underlying this vulnerability are not well understood. This study examined biases in the processing of emotional stimuli as a potential vulnerability marker of bipolar disorder. Methods: Sixteen children of bipolar parents who did not show any indication of having an emotional disorder at the time of testing and ten children of never-disordered control parents underwent a negative mood induction designed to activate cognitive schemas and were then administered an emotion Stroop task and a self-referent encoding task. Results: Children of bipolar parents were found to exhibit an attentional bias towards social-threat and manic-irritable words. Furthermore, although high- and low-risk children did not differ in their endorsement of positive and negative words as self-descriptive, the high-risk children demonstrated better recall of negative words than did the low-risk children. Conclusions: Thus, children without a mood disorder who are at high risk for developing a mood disorder were found to exhibit biases in attention and memory that are similar to those found for bipolar and unipolar depressed adults, suggesting that children at increased risk for affective disorder are characterized by potentially pathogenic cognitive structures that can be activated by sad mood. These findings offer insights into mechanisms of cognitive vulnerability for bipolar disorders.

AB - Background: Although children of bipolar parents are at heightened risk for developing emotional disorders, the processes underlying this vulnerability are not well understood. This study examined biases in the processing of emotional stimuli as a potential vulnerability marker of bipolar disorder. Methods: Sixteen children of bipolar parents who did not show any indication of having an emotional disorder at the time of testing and ten children of never-disordered control parents underwent a negative mood induction designed to activate cognitive schemas and were then administered an emotion Stroop task and a self-referent encoding task. Results: Children of bipolar parents were found to exhibit an attentional bias towards social-threat and manic-irritable words. Furthermore, although high- and low-risk children did not differ in their endorsement of positive and negative words as self-descriptive, the high-risk children demonstrated better recall of negative words than did the low-risk children. Conclusions: Thus, children without a mood disorder who are at high risk for developing a mood disorder were found to exhibit biases in attention and memory that are similar to those found for bipolar and unipolar depressed adults, suggesting that children at increased risk for affective disorder are characterized by potentially pathogenic cognitive structures that can be activated by sad mood. These findings offer insights into mechanisms of cognitive vulnerability for bipolar disorders.

KW - Children of bipolar parents

KW - Depression

KW - Information processing biases

KW - Risk factors

KW - Vulnerability

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=13544259872&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=13544259872&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2004.00333.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2004.00333.x

M3 - Article

VL - 46

SP - 84

EP - 93

JO - Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines

JF - Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines

SN - 0021-9630

IS - 1

ER -