Abnormal Child & Adolescent Psychology

Resources for students and teachers...

14. Pediatric Bipolar Disorder & Schizophrenia

Learning Objectives

Differentiate among bipolar I, bipolar II, and cyclothymic disorder, and show how children might manifest these

disorders differently than adults.


Describe some of the most common genetic, biological, and social–familial causes of bipolar disorders in children

and adolescents.


Evaluate the effectiveness of medication and psychotherapy for preventing and treating bipolar disorders in



Describe the key features of schizophrenia, and show how children might display the signs and symptoms of this

disorder differently than adults.

Outline the neurodevelopmental model for schizophrenia in children and adolescents.
Describe effective medications and psychosocial treatments to prevent or manage schizophrenia in youths.

Note: The number before each objective shows its corresponding module in the text.


Ready to Study? Click here to access flashcards for key terms presented in the text. Flashcards are a great way to help you define, explain, and give examples of important terms and ideas. (You may need to create a free Quizlet account to access the flashcards.)

Test Your Critical Thinking

Ready to Review? Click here to review each of the research questions presented in the text. Review questions are a great way to test your application and critical thinking skills.


Pediatric Bipolar Disorders

This excellent video features children with bipolar disorders and their parents. The video also includes Drs. Jill Goldberg-Arnold & Gabrielle Carlson, two experts in the treatment of childhood mood disorders.

Treating Bipolar Disorders

The developer of psychoeducational psychotherapy, Dr. Mary Fristad (Ohio State University), describes effective psychosocial treatments for pediatric bipolar disorders.

Childhood-Onset Schizophrenia

The likelihood of a child developing schizophrenia before puberty is .0019%. This video, presented by ABC News, portrays three children with this condition and their families.

Learn More

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

The AACAP website contains an excellent guide, written for parents, that discusses medication used to treat Bipolar Disorder in children and adolescents. The guide provides up-to-date information about medication options and safety.

Balanced Mind Parent Network

The Balanced Mind Foundation is a parent-led organization consisting of families raising children diagnosed with, or at risk for, pediatric bipolar disorders. Click on the “CABF People” link to see pictures of the organization’s professional advisory council, leading researchers and clinicians in the area of juvenile bipolar disorders. Also visit the “Learning Center” to get started learning about bipolar disorders in children and adolescents.

Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation

The Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to the support of research for the study of early-onset Bipolar Disorder. On this site, you can get information about current research studies on child and adolescent Bipolar Disorder and read discussions in the forum.

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

NIMH provides an excellent, user-friendly introduction to Bipolar Disorders in children and adolescents. It is written primarily for parents and other adults who interact with children, to help them recognize the symptoms of the disorder and to increase awareness of treatment options.