• Laboratory-Observed Behavioral Disinhibition in the Young Offspring of Parents With Bipolar Disorder: A High-Risk Pilot Study

      Hirshfeld-Becker, Dina R.; Biederman, Joseph; Henin, Aude; Faraone, Stephen V.; Cayton, Gabrielle A.; Rosenbaum, Jerrold F. (American Psychiatric Association Publishing, 2006-02)
      Objective: This study tested whether behavioral disinhibition is more prevalent among offspring of parents with bipolar disorder than among offspring of parents without bipolar disorder. Method: The authors conducted a secondary analysis of data from a preexisting high-risk study of offspring at risk for panic disorder and depression (N=278) that had included some children with parents who had bipolar disorder (N=34). Children (ages 2–6) had been classified as behaviorally inhibited, disinhibited, or neither in laboratory assessments. Results: Offspring of bipolar parents had significantly higher rates of behavioral disinhibition than offspring of parents without bipolar disorder. Behavioral inhibition did not differ between groups. Differences were not accounted for by parental panic disorder or major depression or by parental history of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder, antisocial personality, or substance use disorders. Conclusions: Results suggest a familial link between bipolar disorder in parents and behavioral disinhibition in their offspring. Behavioral disinhibition may be a familially transmitted predisposing factor for dysregulatory distress later in life.