Children of Parents with Bipolar Disorder

The article by Erkan, Gencoglan, Akguc, Ozatalay and Fettahoglu (2015) had the aim of comparing the psychopathology and attachment styles in adolescent children of parents with bipolar disorder (BD) with a healthy control group. Exploring the topic of attachment is important for understanding the dynamics of adolescent-parent relationships and forming a framework for the healthy development of young people. The research is also supported by Moretti and Peled (2004) who pointed to the “continued importance of adolescent-parent attachment as a determinant of health during this development stage and beyond” (p. 554). It should also be mentioned that the research applies to the Middle Eastern context as the participants for the study were recruited from the Psychiatry Clinic of Akdeniz University, Turkey.

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The article is beneficial for revealing the higher incidence of psychopathology and the dismissing style of attachment in the bipolar group of participants. This points to the fact that parents diagnosed with BD had an adverse influence on the attachment with their children and increased the chances of psychiatric disease development. For example, out of 25 children, 12 had at least one psychiatric diagnosis compared to 5 children in a healthy control group. The higher rate of psychopathologies such as conduct and anxiety disorders, depression, ADHD, and other mental health complications was positively associated with parents’ diagnosis of BD. Furthermore, the risks of developing insecure styles of attachment were also higher in the BD group. Thus, adolescent-parent attachment requires targeted attention from mental health professionals as well as education professionals. Shifting the perceptions about adolescents as a period of detachment is essential for addressing psychological challenges and reducing the adverse influence of parents’ diagnoses.

References

Erkan, M., Gencoglan, S., Akguc, L., Ozatalay, E., & Fettahoglu, E. (2015). Attachment styles and psychopathology among adolescent children of parents with bipolar disorder. Medical Science Monitor, 21, 1083-1088.

Moretti, M., & Peled, M. (2004). Adolescent-parent attachment: Bonds that support healthy development. Paediatrics & Child Health, 9(8), 551-555.

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