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Considerable evidence indicates that acquisition and implementation of an array of social cognitive and behavioral skills are disrupted in the context of this psychiatric illness. Furthermore, numerous studies link the social deficits evident in bipolar disorder (BD) with atypical development in brain regions implicated in social and emotional processing. Elucidating the social disruptions evident across the life span in individuals with BD, how these disruptions relate to specific behavioral deficits or endophenotypes, and their underlying neural mechanisms may help inform our understanding not only of psychopathological processes but also of typical social development at the behavioral and neural levels. Additionally, clarification of social deficits and strengths associated with BD, as well as their neural underpinnings, may facilitate the development of effective and explicitly targeted interventions.


This book chapter was originally published in D. Miklowitz & D. Cicchetti (Eds.). (2010). Understanding Bipolar Disorder: A Developmental Psychopathology Perspective. New York: Guilford.

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