AIM: Social impairment is common in individuals with bipolar disorder (BD), although its role in youths at high-risk for BD (i.e., mood symptoms in the context of a family history of BD) is not well understood. Social impairment takes many forms including social withdrawal, relational aggression, physical aggression, and victimization. The aim of this study was to explore the links between social impairment and clinical symptoms in youth at high-risk for BD.METHODS: The sample included 127 youths with elevations in mood symptoms (depression or hypomania) and at least one first and/or second degree relative with BD. Measures of youths' current psychopathology (i.e., depressive and manic severity, suicidality, anxiety, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder [ADHD]) were regressed onto youths' self-reports of social impairment (i.e., social withdrawal, relational aggression, physical aggression, and victimization).RESULTS: Depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation, and anxiety symptoms were related to social withdrawal. Suicidal ideation was also related to reactive aggression. ADHD symptoms related to reactive and proactive aggression as well as relational victimization. Manic symptoms were not associated with social impairment in this sample.CONCLUSIONS: Although cross-sectional, study findings point to potential treatment targets related to social functioning. Specifically, social withdrawal should be a target for treatment of childhood depressive and anxiety symptoms. Treatments that focus on social skills and cognitive functioning deficits associated with BD may also have clinical utility.
View details for DOI 10.1111/eip.13124
View details for PubMedID 33559355