Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 115–122 | Cite as

Pediatric Bipolar Disorder: The Child Psychiatrist Perspective

  • Mary B. StebbinsEmail author
  • Jacqueline Corcoran


This study’s objectives were to gain insight into reasons for the considerable rise in pediatric bipolar disorder (PBD) and what impact the new diagnosis of disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD) may have on child psychiatric treatment. A purposive sample of 10 child psychiatrists was interviewed for this qualitative study. Interviews were transcribed and coded for themes. Participants believe that PBD is often misdiagnosed and overdiagnosed, though their understandings of the reasons behind this vary. The majority attribute it to providers trying to help children who need services but do not fit a diagnostic category, and undertrained professionals diagnosing children. Most see DMDD as positive, though opinions on how it might impact children and treatment vary. All see family as vital in the treatment process. Participants in this exploratory study support a team approach and social workers have a key role as part of this team.


Pediatric bipolar disorder Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder Child psychiatrists Multidisciplinary team Qualitative research 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Longwood UniversityFarmvilleUSA
  2. 2.School of Social WorkVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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