Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 88 Issue 4 (December 2015), Pages 351-480

Response styles, bipolar risk, and mood in students: The Behaviours Checklist (pages 412-426)

Objectives

An Integrative Cognitive Model of mood swings and bipolar disorder proposes that extreme positive and negative appraisals about internal states trigger ascent and descent behaviours, contributing to the onset and maintenance of mood swings. This study investigated the reliability and validity of a new inventory, the Behaviours Checklist (BC), by measuring associations with appraisals, response styles to positive and negative affect, bipolar risk, mania, and depression.

Design

Correlational analogue study.

Methods

Students (N = 134) completed the BC alongside measures of appraisals, response styles to positive and negative mood, mania, depression, and hypomanic personality (bipolar risk).

Results

The BC was of adequate reliability and showed good validity. Ascent behaviours and appraisals predicted bipolar risk, whereas descent behaviours and appraisals were associated with depression.

Conclusions

Appraisals, ascent, and descent behaviours may play an important role in the development and maintenance of mood swings. Limitations and research recommendations are outlined.

Practitioner points

  • Extreme positive and negative appraisals of internal states, and subsequent behavioural responses (ascent and descent behaviours), are associated with bipolar risk and bipolar mood symptoms in a student sample.
  • These processes are involved with mood dysregulation in clinical populations as well as bipolar risk in students, with implications for mood management.

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