Background: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and 14-months incidence of psychopathology in adolescent offspring of a bipolar parent. Method: Parent, teacher and self-report rating scales and Kiddie-SADS were used to assess 132 13-23-year-old offspring of bipolar parents. Results: Compared to the general population, there were few differences between rating scale scores for bipolar offspring and problem scores for normative adolescents. Of the sample 49% had a lifetime psychiatric disorder, most commonly (33%) a mood disorder. Limitations: There was no suitable control group and there are no comparison data for psychiatric diagnoses (DSM-IV), based on semi-structured interviews in the adolescent age group in the Netherlands. Conclusions: The overall level of psychopathology of bipolar offspring was not particularly elevated, but when there were more problems, they tended to be mood disorders. (C) 2002 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.