Longitudinal predictors of bipolar spectrum disorders: A behavioral approach system perspective

Lauren B. Alloy, Rachel E. Bender, Clara A. Wagner, Lyn Y. Abramson, Snezana Urosevic

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


We review longitudinal predictors, primarily psychosocial, of the onset, course, and expression of bipolar spectrum disorders. We organize our review along a proximal-distal continuum, discussing the most proximal (i.e., prodromes) predictors of bipolar episodes first, then recent environmental (i.e., life events) predictors of bipolar symptoms and episodes next, followed by more distal psychological (i.e., cognitive styles) predictors, and ending with the most distal temperament (i.e., Behavioral Approach System [BAS]sensitivity) predictors. We then present a theoretical model, the BAS dysregulation model, for understanding and integrating the role of these predictors of bipolar spectrum disorders. Finally, we consider the implications of the reviewed longitudinal predictors for future research and psychosocial treatments of bipolar disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-226
Number of pages21
JournalClinical Psychology: Science and Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009


  • Behavioral approach system dysregulation
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Cognitive styles
  • Life events
  • Longitudinal predictors
  • Prodromes
  • Temperament


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