Objective: To determine the effects of familial loading, birth weight, and family problems on change in parent-reported problems across a 14-month period among children of bipolar parents. Method: Emotional and behavioral problems in a sample of 140 offspring of bipolar parents and familial loading in first- and second-degree relatives were assessed at two measurements. Parents reported the birth weight of their offspring and completed a questionnaire on family problems. Multiple linear regression analyses were performed to assess associations of the three predictors with change in problem scores at follow-up. Results: Familial loading of unipolar disorder was a unique predictor for an increase in problem scores from the first to the second measurement with β-coefficients ranging from 0.17 to 0.25. Birth weight and family problems were not associated with change in problem scores across the two measurements. Conclusion: Familial loading of unipolar disorder predicted an increase in behavioral and emotional problems across the 14-month follow-up.

Bipolar disorder, Birth weight, Familial loading, Family problems, Offspring
dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0447.2005.00655.x, hdl.handle.net/1765/61900
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Pediatric Psychiatry

Wals, M, Reichart, C.G, Hillegers, M.H.J, Nolen, W.A, van Os, J, Ormel, J, & Verhulst, F.C. (2006). Prediction of change in level of problem behavior among children of bipolar parents. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 113(1), 23–30. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0447.2005.00655.x