Absence of gender differences in pediatric bipolar disorder: Findings from a large sample of referred youth

Joseph Biederman, Anne Kwon, Janet Wozniak, Eric Mick, Sarah Markowitz, Vanessa Fazio, Stephen V. Faraone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Because little is known about gender differences in pediatric bipolar disorder, we evaluated whether gender moderates the expression of pediatric bipolar disorder in a large clinical sample. Subjects were consecutively referred youth aged 18 years or less who met full criteria for DSM-III-R bipolar disorder (BPD) (females, n=74; BD males, n=224). All subjects were assessed with a structured diagnostic interview and measures of psychosocial and family functioning. Most of the bipolar subjects (91% of males, 70% of females) also had ADHD. Bipolar disorder was equally prevalent in both genders. Among females and males, severe irritability (83% and 80%, respectively), mixed presentation (87% and 84%, respectively), chronic course (84% and 77%, respectively) and prepubertal onset (78% and 93%, respectively) predominated the clinical picture. We found no meaningful differences between genders in the number of BPD symptoms, type of treatment for BPD (counseling, medication, hospitalization), severity of educational deficits, severity of family and interpersonal functioning or patterns of psychiatric comorbidity. Because gender does not moderate the clinical expression of pediatric bipolar disorder, our data does not suggest that gender specific criteria for the disorder are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-214
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Gender
  • Pediatric


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