Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 67-75

First online:

Adverse Life Events and Pediatric Bipolar Disorder in a Community Mental Health Setting

  • William R. MarchandAffiliated withAssistant Professor of Psychiatry (Clinical), University of UtahVASLCHCS 116OP Email author 
  • , B. S. Laurel WirthAffiliated withWasatch Mental Health
  • , M. S. W. Cindy SimonAffiliated withWasatch Mental Health

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Objective: To determine the frequency and effects of exposure to adverse events in pediatric bipolar disorder. Method: Charts of youths with bipolar disorder were retrospectively reviewed. Results: Thirty-five of 66 (53%) had experienced maltreatment. Most (90.9%) had divorced or separated parents and 31.8% were adopted or in foster care. Exposure to adverse events was associated with delay of diagnosis (p=.010), psychiatric hospitalization (p=.035), residential treatment (p=.003) and a decreased response to treatment (p=.006). Conclusions: Exposure to adverse events may be common among pediatric bipolar patients and have a negative impact on prognosis.


pediatric bipolar disorder adverse life events trauma outcome community mental health