Abstract and Keywords
In this chapter, we consider the role of the social environment as a predictor of symptoms within bipolar disorder. We begin with a discussion of some conceptual and methodological issues that must be considered in such lines of work. We then highlight some of the strongest research available concerning the role of social support, family predictors, marital variables, traumatic events, life events, culture, race, and ethnicity as predictors of outcomes within bipolar disorder. Taken together, the literature provides rich and compelling evidence that the social environment is of extreme importance for understanding symptoms and treatment patterns within bipolar disorder. We end with a discussion of important future directions for research, including the need for more integrative research on a fuller range of social and biological predictors.
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