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Intellectual Functioning in Offspring of Parents with Bipolar Disorder: A Review of the Literature

Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota, 75 East River Road, 412 Elliot Hall, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
School of Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60601, USA
Center for Addiction and Mental Health, Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute, Toronto, ON M5N 1G3, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(11), 143;
Received: 12 September 2017 / Revised: 12 October 2017 / Accepted: 20 October 2017 / Published: 28 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurological Research of Bipolar Disorder)
Impaired intellectual functioning is an important risk factor for the emergence of severe mental illness. Unlike many other forms of mental disorder however, the association between bipolar disorder and intellectual deficits is unclear. In this narrative review, we examine the current evidence on intellectual functioning in children and adolescents at risk for developing bipolar disorder. The results are based on 18 independent, peer-reviewed publications from 1980 to 2017 that met criteria for this study. The findings yielded no consistent evidence of lower or higher intellectual quotient (IQ) in offspring of parents diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Some tentative evidence was found for lower performance IQ in offspring of bipolar parents as compared to controls. It is recommended that future research examine variability in intellectual functioning and potential moderators. These findings demonstrate the need to examine how intellectual functioning unfolds across development given the potential role of IQ as a marker of vulnerability or resilience in youth at high risk for affective disorders. View Full-Text
Keywords: IQ; intelligence; family risk; bipolar disorder; offspring IQ; intelligence; family risk; bipolar disorder; offspring
MDPI and ACS Style

Klimes-Dougan, B.; Jeong, J.; Kennedy, K.P.; Allen, T.A. Intellectual Functioning in Offspring of Parents with Bipolar Disorder: A Review of the Literature. Brain Sci. 2017, 7, 143.

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