Longitudinal Predictors of Bipolar Spectrum Disorders: A Behavioral Approach System (BAS) Perspective

Clin Psychol (New York). 2009 Jun 1;16(2):206-226. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2850.2009.01160.x.


We review longitudinal predictors, primarily psychosocial, of the onset, course, and expression of bipolar spectrum disorders. We organize our review along a proximal - distal continuum, discussing the most proximal (i.e., prodromes) predictors of bipolar episodes first, then recent environmental (i.e., life events) predictors of bipolar symptoms and episodes next, followed by more distal psychological (i.e., cognitive styles) predictors, and ending with the most distal temperament (i.e., Behavioral Approach System sensitivity) predictors. We then present a theoretical model, the Behavioral Approach System (BAS) dysregulation model, for understanding and integrating the role of these predictors of bipolar spectrum disorders. Finally, we consider the implications of the reviewed longitudinal predictors for future research and psychosocial treatments of bipolar disorders.