Do positive and negative cognitive styles & response styles predict bipolar risk, mood and academic achievement?

Alyson Dodd, Steven Jones, Fiona Lobban

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOtherpeer-review


There is evidence that a number of psychological processes, including the ways in which people appraise and respond to their experiences, play an important role in the development and maintenance of bipolar disorder. Also, research suggests that individuals at risk of bipolar disorder experience heightened levels of achievement, creativity and inspiration. Undergraduate students are an achievement-focused population at the peak age of onset of developing bipolar disorder. Understanding the processes which predict positive and negative outcomes in relation to bipolar disorder are important for developing effective, preventive psychotherapeutic approaches. This study explored which factors were associated with flourishing or experiencing difficulties when students at risk of developing bipolar disorder navigate their student experience. Undergraduate students from Lancaster University (n = 275) completed a battery of online questionnaires on a number of psychological processes including positive and negative self appraisals, response styles, inspiration, goal beliefs, positive urgency, mood, bipolar symptoms, and mania risk. When controlling for current symptoms, there were a number of significant associations between cognitive and response styles with mania risk, including a novel multidimensional measure of inspiration. Student records will be followed up to investigate whether mania risk and psychological processes predict academic achievement. Preliminary findings in relation to academic outcomes suggest that mania risk alone does not predict poorer outcomes. Findings will be discussed in the context of psychological models of mood swings and bipolar disorder. Future prospective studies will investigate which of these processes predicts transition to bipolar disorder, as well as course and outcome in those with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013
EventAssociation for Behavioural & Cognitive Therapies 47th Annual Convention - Nashville, USA
Duration: 1 Nov 2013 → …


ConferenceAssociation for Behavioural & Cognitive Therapies 47th Annual Convention
Period1/11/13 → …


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