|Beitragstitel||Risk and resilience among offspring affected by mood disorders and their unaffected siblings in families with a bipolar parent|
While it is now well established that offspring of parents with bipolar disorder (BPD) are a group at high risk of developing mood disorders themselves, the systematic study of risk and resilience factors for mood disorders has been scarce to date. Our longitudinal, exploratory study had the objective of researching risk and resilience factors for mood disorders in offspring of a parent with BPD, by comparing individual and family characteristics among affected and non-affected siblings from the same families.
The sample included offspring of 24 families with a parent with BPD, where at least one child had a mood disorder (n=31), and at least one sibling was not affected (n=33). Diagnoses and assessments of offspring and parents were made following a best-estimate procedure, using interview and self-report information according to the offspring to measure pre-morbid disorders, and individual or familial characteristics documented prior to the onset of mood episodes in offspring.
Offspring who had subsequently developed a mood disorder did not differ from siblings who did not on most studied scales, except for three temperament dimensions measured by the DOTS-R (Dimension of Temperament Survey-Revised version). These dimensions included a higher tendency to approach novelty, a higher rhythmicity of daily habits and a higher task orientation.
The higher tendency to approach novelty, higher rhythmicity of daily habits and higher task orientation among offspring subsequently affected by mood disorders compared to their resilient siblings seems, quite unexpectedly, to reflect temperament characteristics that may represent early precursors of mood disorders.