Differentiating Bipolar Spectrum Disorders: The Diagnostic Utility of the BIS/BAS Scales Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Ong, Mian Li
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • The present study examined discriminative validities of the Behavioral Inhibition System/Behavioral Approach System (BIS/BAS) scales in differentiating bipolar spectrum disorders (BSDs) from other disorders. Participants were youth recruited from a combination of community mental health center and university medical facility. Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analyses tested the BIS/BAS scales in distinguishing between BSD-positive and BSD-negative youth. We calculated diagnostic likelihood ratios in keeping with recommendations from evidence-based medicine. Binary logistic regressions tested for incremental value in combining subscales. BAS subscales discriminated between participants with BSD-positive and BSD-negative diagnoses, with areas under the curve ranging from .54 to .64. The BIS/BAS scales achieved statistical significance in identifying cases with BSDs, but effect sizes for discriminative comparisons were too small to be clinically useful. Upgrading clinical training to: (a) include prevalence of BSDs and (b) teaching clinicians more evidence based assessment strategies is important to improve assessment and diagnosis of BSDs.
Date of publication
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Youngstrom, Eric
  • Jones, Deborah
  • Hussong, Andrea
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2015
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
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