Temperament and behavior in toddlers of mothers with bipolar disorder: A preliminary investigation of a population at high familial risk for psychopathology

Diana I. Simeonova, Ashraf M. Attalla, Theresa Nguyen, Emily Stagnaro, Bettina T. Knight, W. Edward Craighead, Zachary N. Stowe, D. Jeffrey Newport

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: There are no published studies examining concurrent associations between temperament and behavior during toddlerhood in offspring of parents with bipolar disorder (OBD), a population at high familial risk for psychopathology. Better understanding of early determinants contributing to well-being or mental illness in this high-risk population has the potential to aid in the identification of problem domains to be targeted clinically, and facilitate the development of early intervention and prevention initiatives for an appropriate subgroup of children at the youngest possible age. Methods: A total of 30 offspring of mothers with BD (mean age=25.4±4.9 months) participated in this study at Emory University. The mothers completed the Early Childhood Behavior Questionnaire (ECBQ) and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Results: The results of the correlational analyses indicated that the broad temperament dimension Negative Affectivity and the individual ECBQ scales Sadness and Shyness were positively associated with the broad CBCL dimension Internalizing Problems, whereas Sociability was negatively associated with Internalizing Problems. In addition, the temperament scales Soothability and Frustration were negatively and positively associated with Internalizing Problems, respectively. All ECBQ scales included in the broad temperament dimension Effortful Control, except for Cuddliness, were significantly negatively associated with the broad CBCL dimension Externalizing Problems. A significant sex difference was found for the ECBQ scale Positive Anticipation and the CBCL scale Sleep Problems, with a higher mean rank score for girls than for boys. Conclusions: This is the first systematic investigation of temperament and behavior and concurrent associations between these two domains in toddlers of mothers with BD. The present findings provide a platform for future investigations of the contribution of temperament and early behavior to potential well-being or mental illness in OBD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-550
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology
Volume24
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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