Dysfunctional Cognition in Individuals With an Increased Risk for Mania


  • Raphaela Ulrich
  • Thomas D. Meyer
  • Sylke Andreas
  • Claudia Lex


Background: There is still a lack of knowledge about attitudes and cognitions that are related to bipolar disorder. Theoretically, it was proposed that exaggerated beliefs about the self, relationships, the need for excitement, and goal-related activities might lead to mania in vulnerable individuals, however, the few studies that examined this hypothesis provided mixed results. One of the unresolved issues is if such a cognitive style is associated with current mood symptoms or with different stages of the illness, i.e. at-risk versus diagnosed bipolar disorder. Therefore, the present study aimed at evaluating depression and mania-related cognitive style in individuals at-risk for mania. Method: In an online survey, we collected data of 255 students of the University of Klagenfurt, Austria. All participants completed the Hypomanic Personality Scale (HPS), the Cognition Checklist for Mania – Revised (CCL-M-R), the Dysfunctional Attitude Scale (DAS), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the Internal State Scale (ISS). Results: In a hierarchical regression, HPS was positively related to scores of all subscales of the CCL-M-R. The HPS did not significantly predict scores of the DAS. Current manic and depressive symptoms significantly contributed to the models. Conclusion: The present results suggest that a trait-like risk for mania is associated with mania-related but not depression-related cognitions.