The authors review published studies of the children of parents with
major affective disorder and report the rates of diagnosable disorder in
the children, their clinical symptoms and other behavioral disturbances,
and the differing impact of parental illness at different ages and stages
of development. There is significant risk to children in having parents
with major affective disorder, and considerable impairment is evident in
these children. The authors discuss the methodological issues in the
studies and offer suggestions for future investigations.