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Social Support and the Course of Bipolar Disorder

Discusses the relative merits of pharmacological and psychosocial interventions in bipolar disorders

  1. aemetha
    Study Author(s):
    Johnson, S. L., Winett, C. A., Meyer, B., Greenhouse, W. J., & Miller, I.
    Journal Name:
    Journal of Abnormal Psychology
    Publication Date:
    The current study prospectively examined the impact of social support on symptom severity and recovery from episodes in bipolar disorder, both as a direct influence and as a buffer of life events. Fifty-nine individuals with Bipolar I disorder were followed longitudinally with monthly symptom severity interviews. Social support was measured by the Interpersonal Support Evaluation List and the Interview Schedule for Social Interaction, and life events were assessed using the Life Events and Difficulties Schedule. Individuals with low social support took longer to recover from episodes and were more symptomatic across a 6-month follow-up. Results suggest a polarity-specific effect, in that social support influences depression but not mania. Discussion focuses on theoretical implications of a series of polarity-specific findings within the field.