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Dimensions of manic symptoms in youth: psychosocial impairment and cognitive performance in the IMAGEN sample

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Argyris Stringaris, Natalie Ryan-Castellanos, Tobias Banaschewski, Gareth J Barker, Arun L Bokde, Uli Bromberg, Christian Büchel, Mira Fauth-Bühler, Herta Flor, Vincent Frouin, Juergen Gallinat, Hugh Garavan, Penny Gowland, Andreas Heinz, Bernd Itterman, Claire Lawrence, Frauke Nees, Marie-Laure Paillere-Martinot, Tomas Paus, Zdenka Pausova & 6 more Marcella Rietschel, Michael N Smolka, Gunter Schumann, Robert Goodman, Patricia Conrod, The IMAGEN Consortium

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1380-1389
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Volume55
Issue number12
Early online date28 May 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

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Abstract

Background
It has been reported that mania may be associated with superior cognitive performance. In this study, we test the hypothesis that manic symptoms in youth separate along two correlated dimensions and that a symptom constellation of high energy and cheerfulness is associated with superior cognitive performance.

Method
We studied 1755 participants of the IMAGEN study, of average age 14.4 years (SD = 0.43), 50.7% girls. Manic symptoms were assessed using the Development and Wellbeing Assessment by interviewing parents and young people. Cognition was assessed using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale For Children (WISC-IV) and a response inhibition task.

Results
Manic symptoms in youth formed two correlated dimensions: one termed exuberance, characterized by high energy and cheerfulness and one of undercontrol with distractibility, irritability and risk-taking behavior. Only the undercontrol, but not the exuberant dimension, was independently associated with measures of psychosocial impairment. In multivariate regression models, the exuberant, but not the undercontrolled, dimension was positively and significantly associated with verbal IQ by both parent- and self-report; conversely, the undercontrolled, but not the exuberant, dimension was associated with poor performance in a response inhibition task.

Conclusions
Our findings suggest that manic symptoms in youth may form dimensions with distinct correlates. The results are in keeping with previous findings about superior performance associated with mania. Further research is required to study etiological differences between these symptom dimensions and their implications for clinical practice.

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