Does the course of manic symptoms in pediatric bipolar disorder impact the course of conduct disorder? Findings from four prospective datasets

J Affect Disord. 2018 Oct 1;238:244-249. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.05.020. Epub 2018 May 24.


Background: To assess whether the course of pediatric bipolar-I (BP-I) disorder impacts the course of conduct disorder (CD)/antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). We hypothesized that remission of manic symptoms in BP-I youth will be associated with remission of CD/ASPD.

Methods: We used data from four longitudinal datasets of carefully characterized and comprehensively assessed youth with structured diagnostic interview based diagnoses of BP-I disorder and CD/ASPD assessed at baseline in childhood and at follow-up onto adolescent years. The baseline sample consisted of 240 subjects with full BP-I disorder. The average follow-up time was 6.6 ± 2.4 years.

Results: Subjects with remitting BP-I disorder in adolescent years had a significantly lower one-year prevalence of CD or ASPD compared to those with persistent BP-I disorder (χ2 = 10.35, p = 0.001).

Limitations: Our inferences were derived from the examination of naturalistic longitudinal follow-up data and not results of a clinical trial.

Conclusions: Results indicate that remission of manic symptoms at the adolescent follow up in youth with BP-I disorder were associated with a significant decrease in rates of CD/ASPD. These results suggest that targeting manic symptoms in youth with BP-I disorder could mitigate the course of CD/ASPD in youth. Considering the high morbidity and disability associated CD/ASPD in youth and the limited treatment options available to address it, if replicated, these findings would have very important clinical and public health significance.

Keywords: Bipolar disorder; Children; Conduct disorder; Mania.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / epidemiology
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / psychology*
  • Bipolar Disorder / epidemiology
  • Bipolar Disorder / psychology*
  • Child
  • Conduct Disorder / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies