Information processing in adolescents with bipolar i disorder

Jane Whitney, Jutta Joormann, Ian H. Gotlib, Ryan G. Kelley, Tenah Acquaye, Meghan Howe, Kiki D. Chang, Manpreet K. Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Cognitive models of bipolar I disorder (BD) may aid in identification of children who are especially vulnerable to chronic mood dysregulation. Information-processing biases related to memory and attention likely play a role in the development and persistence of BD among adolescents; however, these biases have not been extensively studied in youth with BD. Methods: We administered the self-referent encoding task and the dot-probe task to adolescents with bipolar I disorder (BD, n = 35) and a demographically similar healthy comparison group (HC, n = 25) at baseline, and at a 1-year follow-up in a subset of this cohort (n = 22 per group). Results: At both baseline and 1-year follow-up, there were significant interactions of group (BD, HC) and valence of stimulus (positive, negative adjective) on endorsement and recall of self-referent adjectives. HC adolescents endorsed and recalled more positive self-referent adjectives at baseline and follow-up while adolescents with BD endorsed and recalled more negative self-referent adjectives at baseline but not follow-up. Over time, depression symptomatology was associated with impaired memory for positive self-referent adjectives. There were no group differences in attentional bias at either time points. Conclusions: Adolescents with BD exhibit bias away from endorsement and recall of positive adjectives, which remained stable over time and independent of mood state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)937-945
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescence
  • bipolar disorder
  • information-processing
  • longitudinal
  • memory bias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Medicine(all)


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