Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Committee Member

Stephen Benning

Second Committee Member

Bradley Donohue

Third Committee Member

Shane Kraus

Fourth Committee Member

Katherine Hertlein

Number of Pages



Family functioning encompasses a family’s ability to maintain an environment that supports and benefits each member of the family. Among families of youth with a bipolar disorder (BD), family functioning is impaired compared to healthy controls. However, few studies have examined family functioning across psychopathology in youth. Additionally, few studies have examined which symptoms (depressive, manic, or externalizing) are most strongly associated with family functioning. Therefore, the purpose of this manuscript is to benchmark impairments in family functioning in youth with BD compared to youth with other psychiatric disorders and to examine the differential influence of depressive, manic, and comorbid externalizing behavior symptoms on family functioning in youth with BD. Youth with BD had more impaired family functioning compared to youth with behavior disorders and youth with non-mood, non-behavior disorders, but not youth with unipolar depression. Specifically, depressive and externalizing symptoms were most strongly associated with declines in both caregiver-reported and clinician-reported family functioning. (Hypo)manic symptoms were mostly unassociated with changes in family functioning. Depressive and externalizing symptoms appear to be driving declines in family functioning among youth with BD, making these symptoms critical targets for treatment of BD in youth.

Controlled Subject

Manic-depressive illness;Manic-depressive persons;Mentally ill--Family relationships


Clinical Psychology | Psychology | Social Psychology

File Format


File Size

960 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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