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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Attachment Styles and Psychopathology among Adolescent Children of Parents with Bipolar Disorder

Mustafa Erkan, Salih Gencoglan, Leyla Akguc, Esin Ozatalay, Emine Cigil Fettahoglu

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Sisli Hamidiye Etfal Training and Research Hospital, İstanbul, Turkey

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:1083-1088

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.893372

Available online:

Published: 2015-04-16

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to compare attachment styles and psychopathology in adolescent children of parents with bipolar disorder (BD) with a healthy control group.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We studied 25 adolescents who had at least 1 parent with BD (BD group) and 28 adolescents who had no parents with BD (control group). The adolescent participants were between the ages of 12 and 17 years. We used the Adolescent Relationship Scales Questionnaire (A-RSQ) for the adolescents in the BD vs. control groups, and we used the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-age Children – present and lifetime version (K-SADS-PL). We used the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID-I), Clinician Version for each parent of adolescents in the BD and control groups to rule out psychopathologies.
RESULTS: Attachment styles of participants were assessed according to A-RSQ, dismissing attachment style scores of adolescents in BD group were found significantly higher compared to the healthy control group (p<0.05). As a result of the assessments, 12 adolescents (48%) out of 25 in the BD group and 5 adolescents (18%) out of 28 in the control group were given DSM-IV Axis I diagnosis, which is a statistically significant result (p<0.05). However, when psychiatric diagnoses were assessed separately, the difference was not statistically significant.
CONCLUSIONS: We found that the adolescent children of parents with BD have increased risk of developing mental illnesses, and that these adolescents adopt dismissing attachment styles.

Keywords: Bipolar Disorder - psychology, Adult, Adolescent, Case-Control Studies, Demography, Psychopathology, Surveys and Questionnaires