Deficits in attention to emotional stimuli distinguish youth with severe mood dysregulation from youth with bipolar disorder

Brendan A. Rich, Melissa A. Brotman, Daniel P. Dickstein, Derek G.V. Mitchell, Robert James Blair, Ellen Leibenluft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Studying attention in the context of emotional stimuli may aid in differentiating pediatric bipolar disorder (BD) from severe mood dysregulation (SMD). SMD is characterized by chronic irritability, arousal, and hyperreactivity; SMD youth frequently receive a BD diagnosis although they do not meet DSM-IV criteria for BD because they lack manic episodes. We compared 57 BD (14.4± 2.9 years old, 56% male), 41 SMD (12.6±2.6 years old, 66% male), and 33 control subjects (13.7±2.5 years old, 52% male) using the Emotional Interrupt task, which examines how attention is impacted by positive, negative, or neutral distracters. We compared reaction time (RT) and accuracy and calculated attention interference scores by subtracting performance on neutral trials from emotional trials. Between-group analyses indicated that SMD subjects had significantly reduced attention interference from emotional distracters relative to BD and control subjects. Thus, attention in SMD youth was not modulated by emotional stimuli. This blunted response in SMD youth may contribute to their affective and behavioral dysregulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-706
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Volume38
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010

Fingerprint

Bipolar Disorder
Arousal
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Reaction Time
Pediatrics

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Children
  • IAPS
  • Mood dysregulation
  • Pediatric bipolar disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Deficits in attention to emotional stimuli distinguish youth with severe mood dysregulation from youth with bipolar disorder. / Rich, Brendan A.; Brotman, Melissa A.; Dickstein, Daniel P.; Mitchell, Derek G.V.; Blair, Robert James; Leibenluft, Ellen.

In: Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, Vol. 38, No. 5, 01.07.2010, p. 695-706.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rich, Brendan A. ; Brotman, Melissa A. ; Dickstein, Daniel P. ; Mitchell, Derek G.V. ; Blair, Robert James ; Leibenluft, Ellen. / Deficits in attention to emotional stimuli distinguish youth with severe mood dysregulation from youth with bipolar disorder. In: Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. 2010 ; Vol. 38, No. 5. pp. 695-706.
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