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Child & Adolescent Mood Disorders | NNDC

Child & Adolescent Mood Disorders


Graham Emslie, MD - University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Jean Frazier, MD - UMass Medical School / UMass Memorial Health Care

Why A Task Group

The Child and Adolescent Mood Disorders Task Group was formed in light of the special considerations needed when working with mood disorder patients under the age of 18. While this demographic can present unique challenges, the reward in helping children overcome emotional and mental adversities is enormous. During meetings the Task Group reviews the latest research in the field of child psychiatry, shares clinical advice, and discuses collaborative project ideas.

Research & Background

Children undergo unique physical changes that can affect their emotional status. Girls who begin puberty earlier than their peers have been found to be at a greater risk for anxiety and depression as well as substance abuse (1). A link has been discovered between chronic, unexplained stomachaches in childhood and the presentation of anxiety and depression in adulthood (2). In children suffering from comorbid asthma and depression, the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP) was found in higher numbers than healthy children or those with only one health concern (3). 

Bullying has become a serious concern for parents, teachers, and clinicians in recent years. Children and adolescents are exposed to bullying in multiple settings, including at school, from siblings, and now on social networking sites, where 20% of children report that they have been the victim of cyber-bullying (4). Youth are also bullied by peers in large numbers according to their perceived sexual orientation, and this has been shown to decrease the victims' quality of life and increase their risk of suicide (5).


1. Smart, J. E. H., Cumming, S. P., Sherar, L. B., Standage, M., Neville, H., & Malina, R. M. (2012). Maturity associated variance in physical activity and health-related quality of life in adolescent females: A mediated effects model. Journal of Physical Activity and   Health, 9(1), 86-95.

2. Shelby, G. D., Shirkey, K. C., Sherman, A. L., Beck, J. E., Haman, K., Shears, A. R., Horst, S. N., Smith, C. A., Garber, J., & Walker, L. S. (2013). Functional abdominal pain in childhood and long-term vulnerability to anxiety disorders. Pediatrics. doi: 10.1542/peds.2012-2191

3. Shanahan, L., Copeland, W. E., Worthman, C. M., Angold, A., & Costello, E. J. (2013). Children with both asthma and depression are at risk for heightened inflammation. The Journal of Pediatrics. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.06.046,

4. Wyatt, S. (2013). NSPCC finds one in five children have experienced cyber-bullying. The Upcoming. Retrieved from: http://www.theupcoming.co.uk/2013/08/11/nspcc-finds-one-in-five-children-have-experienced-cyber-bullying/

5. Patrick, D. L., Bell, J. F., Huang, J. Y., Lazarakis, N. C., & Edwards, T. C. (2013). Bullying and quality of life in youths perceived as gay, lesbian, or bisexual in Washington State, 2010. American Journal of Public Health, 103(7), 1255-1261. 

Members of the Task Group have been busy in the past few months!

Here are some of the relevant articles published by members of the Child & Adolescent Mood Disorders Task Group. Members' names are in bold.


Title: Depressed Adolescents Treated with Exercise (DATE): A pilot randomized controlled trial to test feasibility and establish preliminary effect sizes

Journal: Mental Health and Physical Activity

Publication Date: Online June 25, 2013

Authors: Hughes, CW, Barnes, S, Barnes, C, Defina, LF, Nakonezny, P, & Emslie, GJ

Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1755296613000276


Title: Children with both asthma and depression are at risk for heightened inflammation

Journal: The Journal of Pediatrics

Publication Date: Online August 3, 2013

Authors: Shanahan, L, Copeland, WE, Worthman, CM, Angold, A, & Costello, EJ

Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022347613008056


Title: Personality pathology factors predict recurrent major depressive disorder in emerging adults

Journal: Journal of Clinical Psychology

Publication Date: Online July 12, 2013

Authors: Sheets, ES, Duncan, LE, Bjornsson, AS, Craighead, LW, & Craighead, WE

Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jclp.22028/abstract?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false


Title: A pilot study of alterations in high energy phosphoryl compounds and intracellular pH in unmedicated adolescents with bipolar disorder

Journal: Journal of Affective Disorders

Publication Date: Online May 23, 2013

Authors: Weber, WA, Dudley, J, Lee, J, Strakowski, SM, Adler, CM, & DelBello, MP

Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165032713003480


Title: The 24-month course of manic symptoms in children

Journal: Bipolar Disorders

Publication Date: Online June 25, 2013

Authors: Findling, RL, Jo, B, Frazier, TW, Youngstrom, EA, Demeter, CA, Fristad, MA, Birmaher, B, Kowatch, RA, Arnold, E, Axelson, DA, Ryan, N, Hauser, JC, Brace, DJ, Marsh, LE, Gill, MK, Depew, J, Rowles, BM, & Horwitz, SM

Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bdi.12100/abstract?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false


Title: Reward dysregulation and mood symptoms in an adolescent outpatient sample

Journal: Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

Publication Date: June 2013

Authors: Gruber, J, Gilbert, KE, Youngstrom, E, Youngstrom, JK, Feeny, NC, & Findling, RL

Link: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10802-013-9746-8


Title: Distinguishing primary and secondary variants of callous-unemotional traits among adolescents in a clinic-referred sample

Journal: Psychological Assessment

Publication Date: Online May 6, 2013

Authors: Kahn, RE, Frick, PJ, Youngstrom, EA, Kogos Youngstrom, J, Feeny, NC, & Findling, RL

Link: http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2013-15709-001/


Title: Prescription of psychiatric medications and polypharmacy in the LAMS cohort

Journal: Psychiatric Services

Publication Date: July 15, 2013

Authors: Kowatch, RA, Youngstrom, EA, Horwitz, S, Demeter, C, Fristad, MA, Birmaher, B, Axelson, D, Ryan, N, Frazier, TW, Arnold, LE, Young, AS, Gill, M, & Findling, RL

Link: http://ps.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleID=1712780


Title: Psychosocial intervention for pediatric bipolar disorder: current and future directions

Journal: Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics

Publication Date: July 2013

Authors: Weinstein SM, West AE, & Pavuluri M

Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23898854


Title: Altered affective, executive and sensorimotor resting state networks in patients with pediatric mania

Journal: Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience

Publication Date: July 2013

Authors: Wu, M, Lu, LH, Passarotti, AM, Wegbreit, E, Fitzgerald, J, & Pavuluri, MN

Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23735583


Title: Assessing anxiety in youth with the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children

Journal: Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology

Publication Date: Online July 11, 2013

Authors: Wei, C, Hoff, A, Villabø, MA, Peterman, J, Kendall, PC, Piacentini, J, McCracken, J, Walkup, JT, Albano, AM, Rynn, M, Sherrill, J, Sakolsky, D, Birmaher, B, Ginsburg, G, Keeton, C, Gosch, E, Compton, SN, & March, J

Link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15374416.2013.814541#.UgvRWI1JObM


Title: Candidate gene associations with withdrawn behavior

Journal: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

Publication Date: Online June 28, 2013

Authors: Rubin, DH, Althoff, RR, Ehli, EA, Davies, GE, Rettew, DC, Crehan, ET, Walkup, JT, & Hudziak, JJ

Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcpp.12108/abstract?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false


Title: The therapeutic relationship in cognitive-behavioral therapy and pharmacotherapy for anxious youth

Journal: Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology

Publication Date: Online June 10, 2013

Authors: Cummings, CM, Caporino, NE, Settipani, CA, Read, KL, Compton, SN, March, J, Sherrill, J, Piacentini, J, McCracken, J, Walkup, JT, Ginsburg, G, Albano, AM, Rynn, M, Birmaher, B, Sakolsky, D, Gosch, E, Keeton, C, & Kendall, PC

Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23750468