Leslie Rachel Miller, MD | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Mary Fristad, PhD, ABPP | OSU Wexner Medical Center


The Child and Adolescent Mood Disorders Task Group was formed in light of the special considerations needed when working with mood disorder patients under the age of 18. While this demographic can present unique challenges, the reward in helping children overcome emotional and mental adversities is enormous. During meetings the Task Group reviews the latest research in the field of child psychiatry, shares clinical advice, and discuses collaborative project ideas.


Children undergo unique physical changes that can affect their emotional status. Girls who begin puberty earlier than their peers have been found to be at a greater risk for anxiety and depression as well as substance abuse (1). A link has been discovered between chronic, unexplained stomachaches in childhood and the presentation of anxiety and depression in adulthood (2). In children suffering from comorbid asthma and depression, the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP) was found in higher numbers than healthy children or those with only one health concern (3).

Bullying has become a serious concern for parents, teachers, and clinicians in recent years. Children and adolescents are exposed to bullying in multiple settings, including at school, from siblings, and now on social networking sites, where 20% of children report that they have been the victim of cyber-bullying (4). Youth are also bullied by peers in large numbers according to their perceived sexual orientation, and this has been shown to decrease the victims’ quality of life and increase their risk of suicide (5).


  1. Smart, J. E. H., Cumming, S. P., Sherar, L. B., Standage, M., Neville, H., & Malina, R. M. (2012). Maturity associated variance in physical activity and health-related quality of life in adolescent females: A mediated effects model. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 9(1), 86-95.
  2. Shelby, G. D., Shirkey, K. C., Sherman, A. L., Beck, J. E., Haman, K., Shears, A. R., Horst, S. N., Smith, C. A., Garber, J., & Walker, L. S. (2013). Functional abdominal pain in childhood and long-term vulnerability to anxiety disorders. Pediatrics. doi: 10.1542/peds.2012-2191
  3. Shanahan, L., Copeland, W. E., Worthman, C. M., Angold, A., & Costello, E. J. (2013). Children with both asthma and depression are at risk for heightened inflammation. The Journal of Pediatrics.,
  4. Wyatt, S. (2013). NSPCC finds one in five children have experienced cyber-bullying. The Upcoming. Retrieved from:
  5. Patrick, D. L., Bell, J. F., Huang, J. Y., Lazarakis, N. C., & Edwards, T. C. (2013). Bullying and quality of life in youths perceived as gay, lesbian, or bisexual in Washington State, 2010. American Journal of Public Health, 103(7), 1255-1261.

Here are some of the relevant articles published by members of the Child & Adolescent Mood Disorders Task Group. Members’ names are in bold.

Title: Depressed Adolescents Treated with Exercise (DATE): A pilot randomized controlled trial to test feasibility and establish preliminary effect sizes
Journal: Mental Health and Physical Activity
Publication Date: Online June 25, 2013
Authors: Hughes, CW, Barnes, S, Barnes, C, Defina, LF, Nakonezny, P, & Emslie, GJ

Title: Children with both asthma and depression are at risk for heightened inflammation
Journal: The Journal of Pediatrics
Publication Date: Online August 3, 2013
Authors: Shanahan, L, Copeland, WE, Worthman, CM, Angold, A, & Costello, EJ

Title: Personality pathology factors predict recurrent major depressive disorder in emerging adults
Journal: Journal of Clinical Psychology
Publication Date: Online July 12, 2013
Authors: Sheets, ES, Duncan, LE, Bjornsson, AS, Craighead, LW, & Craighead, WE

Title: A pilot study of alterations in high energy phosphoryl compounds and intracellular pH in unmedicated adolescents with bipolar disorder
Journal: Journal of Affective Disorders
Publication Date: Online May 23, 2013
Authors: Weber, WA, Dudley, J, Lee, J, Strakowski, SM, Adler, CM, & DelBello, MP

Title: The 24-month course of manic symptoms in children
Journal: Bipolar Disorders
Publication Date: Online June 25, 2013
Authors: Findling, RL, Jo, B, Frazier, TW, Youngstrom, EA, Demeter, CA, Fristad, MA, Birmaher, B, Kowatch, RA, Arnold, E, Axelson, DA, Ryan, N, Hauser, JC, Brace, DJ, Marsh, LE, Gill, MK, Depew, J, Rowles, BM, & Horwitz, SM

Title: Reward dysregulation and mood symptoms in an adolescent outpatient sample
Journal: Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Publication Date: June 2013
Authors: Gruber, J, Gilbert, KE, Youngstrom, E, Youngstrom, JK, Feeny, NC, & Findling, RL

Title: Distinguishing primary and secondary variants of callous-unemotional traits among adolescents in a clinic-referred sample
Journal: Psychological Assessment
Publication Date: Online May 6, 2013
Authors: Kahn, RE, Frick, PJ, Youngstrom, EA, Kogos Youngstrom, J, Feeny, NC, & Findling, RL

Title: Prescription of psychiatric medications and polypharmacy in the LAMS cohort
Journal: Psychiatric Services
Publication Date: July 15, 2013
Authors: Kowatch, RA, Youngstrom, EA, Horwitz, S, Demeter, C, Fristad, MA, Birmaher, B, Axelson, D, Ryan, N, Frazier, TW, Arnold, LE, Young, AS, Gill, M, & Findling, RL

Title: Psychosocial intervention for pediatric bipolar disorder: current and future directions
Journal: Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics
Publication Date: July 2013
Authors: Weinstein SM, West AE, & Pavuluri M

Title: Altered affective, executive and sensorimotor resting state networks in patients with pediatric mania
Journal: Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience
Publication Date: July 2013
Authors: Wu, M, Lu, LH, Passarotti, AM, Wegbreit, E, Fitzgerald, J, & Pavuluri, MN

Title: Assessing anxiety in youth with the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children
Journal: Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology
Publication Date: Online July 11, 2013
Authors: Wei, C, Hoff, A, Villabø, MA, Peterman, J, Kendall, PC, Piacentini, J, McCracken, J, Walkup, JT, Albano, AM, Rynn, M, Sherrill, J, Sakolsky, D, Birmaher, B, Ginsburg, G, Keeton, C, Gosch, E, Compton, SN, & March, J

Title: Candidate gene associations with withdrawn behavior
Journal: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Publication Date: Online June 28, 2013
Authors: Rubin, DH, Althoff, RR, Ehli, EA, Davies, GE, Rettew, DC, Crehan, ET, Walkup, JT, & Hudziak, JJ

Title: The therapeutic relationship in cognitive-behavioral therapy and pharmacotherapy for anxious youth
Journal: Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Publication Date: Online June 10, 2013
Authors: Cummings, CM, Caporino, NE, Settipani, CA, Read, KL, Compton, SN, March, J, Sherrill, J, Piacentini, J, McCracken, J,Walkup, JT, Ginsburg, G, Albano, AM, Rynn, M, Birmaher, B, Sakolsky, D, Gosch, E, Keeton, C, & Kendall, PC