An educational history, corroborated by records where available, was obtained on 54 of the 58 adult offspring of 17 bipolar manic-depressives. The offspring were also interviewed and psychiatric status was ascertained.
Primary and other affective disorder in the offspring was not associated with a lower IQ or lower ultimate educational attainment than that of the remaining offspring. There was a trend towards increased educational failure in the offspring with primary affective disorder, but they were as likely as other offspring who had failed to have resumed their education at a later date. Ill offspring with any form of school failure had a significantly earlier onset to their psychiatric illness, although school failure could not be shown to be a part of an early symptom complex.