The authors review the various clinical and experimental studies of
children of parents with affective illness, spanning infancy, childhood,
and early adolescence and including their own and the studies reported in
this Special Section of the Journal. They find a clear tendency to early
disturbances in these children that seems related to adult affective
illness in the areas of affect regulation and social interaction. Although
these findings suggest a developmental line of affective illness linking
child and adult forms, many issues need further clarification.