Palmier-Claus, Berry, Bucci, Mansell, and Varese (2016) found childhood adversity, described as neglect, bullying, and emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, was 2.63 times more likely to have occurred with individuals with bipolar disorder.
They note the effect of emotional abuse was particularly robust, with emotional abuse being 4 times more likely to have occurred with individuals with bipolar disorder. Given the severity, course, and deleterious impact of this disorder on the individual and their family, highlights a need to identify risk factors that can inform treatment. Similar findings have shown a link between childhood adversity and other mental disorders. Specifically, Matheson, Shepherd, Pinchbeck, Laurens, and Carr (2013) found medium to large effect size of childhood adversity with individuals with schizophrenia.
Thus, for both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, research suggests childhood adversity as a possible risk factor for development of these disorders.
Matheson, S. L., Shepherd, A. M., Pinchbeck, R. M., Laurens, K. R., & Carr, V. J. (2013). Childhood adversity in schizophrenia: a systematic meta-analysis. Psychological Medicine, 43(2), 225-238.
Palmier-Claus, J. E., Berry, K., Bucci, S., Mansell, W., & Varese, F. (2016). Relationship between childhood adversity and bipolar affective disorder: systematic review and meta-analysis. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 209(6), 454-459.
Dannie Harris, MA
WKPIC Doctoral Intern