Diagnostic and measurement issues in the assessment of pediatric bipolar disorder: Implications for understanding mood disorder across the life cycle
The goal of this paper is to review assessment research of bipolar disorder in children and adolescents. The review addresses numerous themes: the benefits and costs of involving clinical judgment in the diagnostic process, particularly with regard to diagnosis and mood severity ratings; the validity of parent, teacher, and youth self-report of manic symptoms; how much cross-situational consistency is typically shown in mood and behavior; the extent to which a parent's mental health status influences their report of child behavior; how different measures compare in terms of detecting bipolar disorder, the challenges in comparing the performance of measures across research groups, and the leading candidates for research or clinical use; evidence-based strategies for interpreting measures as diagnostic aids; how test performance changes when a test is used in a new setting and what implications this has for research samples as well as clinical practice; the role of family history of mood disorder within an assessment framework; and the implications of assessment research for the understanding of phenomenology of bipolar disorder from a developmental framework. a
c1 Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Eric Youngstrom, Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina, CB 3270, Davie Hall, Chapel Hill, NC 27599; E-mail: [email protected]
a We thank the families who participated in this program of research. This work was supported in part by NIMH R01 MH066647, as well as a Center Grant from the Stanley Medical Research Institute.