The authors document 10 cases of children who met the criteria for a
DSM-III axis I diagnosis of alcohol abuse or dependence by the age of 13.
They present one case report to demonstrate the family history of affective
disorder, especially bipolar disorder, and alcoholism that characterized
these 10 patients. Most of the children with bipolar disorder responded
well to psychotropics. The authors suggest that there may be a relationship
between early-onset alcohol abuse and the development of major affective
disorders in adolescence.