Affective processing bias in youth with primary bipolar disorder or primary attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Karen E. Seymour, Kerri L. Kim, Grace K. Cushman, Megan E. Puzia, Alexandra B. Weissman, Thania Galvan, Daniel P. Dickstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

High rates of comorbidity and overlapping diagnostic criteria between pediatric bipolar disorder (BD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) contribute to diagnostic and treatment confusion. To advance what is known about both disorders, we compared effect of emotional stimuli on response control in children with primary BD, primary ADHD and typically developing controls (TDC). Participants included 7–17 year olds with either “narrow-phenotype” pediatric BD (n = 25), ADHD (n = 25) or TDC (n = 25). Groups were matched on participant age and FSIQ. The effect of emotional stimuli on response control was assessed using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery Affective Go/No-Go task (CANTAB AGN). We found a group by target valence interaction on commission errors [F(2,71) = 5.34, p < 0.01, ƞp 2 = 0.13] whereby ADHD, but not TDC participants, made more errors on negative than positive words [t(24) = −2.58, p < 0.05, r = 0.47]. In contrast, there was a nonsignificant trend for BD participants to make fewer errors on negative versus positive words compared to ADHD and TDC participants. Between-subjects effects showed that ADHD participants made more errors than TDC, but not BD participants. Our main finding advances what is known about the effect of emotional stimuli on response control in children with ADHD. Our results suggesting a positive affective processing bias in children with ADHD compliment emerging literature show that difficulties with emotional processing and regulation may be core features of ADHD. Further, given the observed pattern of results in children with ADHD compared to BD children, our behavioral results suggest the importance of examining differences in the brain–behavior mechanisms involved in affective processing in children with ADHD compared to BD children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1349-1359
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Volume24
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

Keywords

  • Affective processing
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Child psychiatry
  • Emotion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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