The child behavior checklist-Juvenile bipolar disorder phenotype (CBCL-JBD) has been proposed as a distinct profile specific to children and adolescents who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The objective of this study was to examine whether bipolar disorder youth with depression exhibit the “CBCL-Juvenile bipolar disorder phenotype.”
Thirty-two adolescents, ages 12–18 years, with a depressive episode associated with bipolar I disorder were recruited, and their primary caregivers completed the CBCL.
Only the internalizing subscale (mean=70.2, SD=9.7) and total score (mean=71.5, SD=8.9) reached clinical significance (>70). Moreover, the CBCL-JBD profile scores of our subjects (204.6, SD=27.5) did not reach clinical significance (>210).
Our subjects differed demographically from those in studies that have confirmed the CBCL-Juvenile bipolar disorder phenotype with regards to sex, age and ADHD comorbidity, thus limiting the interpretability of our comparisons with other studies. Furthermore, our investigation involved a small sample size and did not include a control group, which should be addressed in future studies.
The results of our study suggest that the CBCL-JBD profile is not characteristic of depressed youth with bipolar disorder. Better assessment tools for making an accurate and efficient diagnosis of bipolar disorder are needed so that appropriate treatment can be implemented and significant morbidity and mortality are minimized.