Increased rates of events that activate or deactivate the behavioral approach system, but not events related to goal attainment, in bipolar spectrum disorders

Snežana Urošević*, Lyn Y. Abramson, Lauren B. Alloy, Robin Nusslock, Eddie Harmon-Jones, Rachel Bender, Michael E. Hogan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


Research indicates that life events involving goal attainment and goal striving trigger hypomania/mania and that negative life events trigger bipolar depression. These findings are consistent with the behavioral approach system (BAS) dysregulation model of bipolar disorders, which suggests that individuals with bipolar disorders are hypersensitive to cues signaling opportunity for reward and cues signaling failure and loss of rewards. However, no studies to date have investigated whether individuals with bipolar spectrum disorders experience increased rates of these BAS-relevant life events, which would place them at double risk for developing bipolar episodes. The present study found that individuals with bipolar II disorder and cyclothymia experience increased rates of BAS-activating and BAS-deactivating, but not goal-attainment, life events. Finally, for bipolar spectrum individuals only, BAS-activating events predicted BAS-deactivating events' rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)610-615
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of abnormal psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2010



  • Behavioral approach system
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Life events

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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