Does Your Child Have Mood Swings?

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh are inviting parents and their children ages 11-14 for a research study to evaluate early interventions for youth with mood swings who are at risk for mood disorders.

Fast Facts

Children & teens ages

Experiences mood swings

Parent or sibling with bipolar disorder or depression

Compensation provided

Conducted in the Pittsburgh Area

Study Background

The goal of the study is to better understand how well two different skills-based groups help children and adolescents with a family history of mood disorders manage difficult emotions.

Participation in this study involves an introductory consent visit, two mental health assessments at no charge, 4 MRI brain scans, online questionnaires & games, and the child attending an in-person 8-week skill-based group (mindfulness or health & wellness)

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Additional Information

The goal of the BEAM research study is to evaluate how mindfulness and wellness interventions help teens at risk of mood disorders manage difficult emotions.

Your child may qualify for this study if they meet the following criteria.

  • Ages 11-14
  • Have a birth parent or full biological sibling who has experienced symptoms of bipolar disorder or depression
  • Experiences mood swings
  • No major mood disorders or autism spectrum disorder
  • No contraindications to scanning including braces

The first visit will be held with you and your child online via videoconferencing for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, during which we will describe the study in more detail and review some introductory questions. The next visit will involve answering questions about psychiatric symptoms. Your child will complete 4 fMRI scans throughout the study as well as participate in either an in-person mindfulness group or a health and wellness group.

The groups will last for eight weeks, with one 60-90 minute session per week. If your child is randomly selected to participate in the mindfulness group, they will participate in activities designed to promote present-moment awareness of breathing or sensations. If your child is randomly selected to participate in the health and wellness group, they will participate in activities focused on topics such as stress management, hobbies and strengths, sleep health, and exercise.

Participants who complete all study procedures will be compensated up to $850. 

There is no cost to participate in this study.