This research study is the continuation of a study started more than 20 years ago. The
study was designed to explore the effect that depressed parents have on their children and
to better understand the factors that contribute to depression development and maintenance.
The study will continue to investigate if children have certain characteristics in early and
middle childhood that predict the later development of psychological disorders.
In addition, the study will continue looking at the processes responsible for the
development of children of parents with and without affective (mood) disorders.
The psychological development of offspring of parents with and without affective disorder is
assessed from early childhood to young adulthood. Parents with a diagnosis of major
depression or bipolar illness and well parents and their children are studied (SADS-L, RDC,
and SCID, DSM-III). A sibling pair is studied in each family. Parent-child interaction is
investigated through direct observation of behavior in naturalistic and controlled settings.
Family history information is obtained through parent interviews. Behavioral observations,
standard tests, physical examinations, and psychiatric interviews, and MRI procedures
provide multiple assessments of the offspring. The study has been completed through
preadolescence, adolescence, and late adolescence. Follow-up in young adulthood continues.
Patients will be drawn from an ongoing longitudinal study begun in 1979 of offspring of
parents with affective illness (unipolar and bipolar) and children of normal control