YWHAH is a positional and functional candidate gene for both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (BP). This gene has been previously shown to be associated with both disorders, and the chromosome location (22q12.3) has been repeatedly implicated in linkage studies for these disorders. It codes for the η subtype of the 14-3-3 protein family, is expressed mainly in brain, and is involved in HPA axis regulation. We investigated the association of YWHAH with BP in a large sample, consisting of 1211 subjects from 318 nuclear families including 554 affected offspring. We tested for association with the standard BP phenotype as well as subtypes defined by psychotic and mood-incongruent features. We genotyped five tag SNPs and the (GCCTGCA)n polymorphic locus present in this gene. Using a family-based association test, we found that rs2246704 was associated with BP (OR 1.31, P = 0.03) and psychotic BP (OR = 1.66, P = 0.002). The polymorphic repeat and two other SNPs were also modestly associated with psychotic BP. We have provided additional evidence for association of variants in YWHAH with major mental illness. Additional association analyses of larger sample sets will be required to clarify the role of YWHAH in schizophrenia and BP. The use of clinical sub-phenotypes such as psychotic features or other potential schizophrenia/BP overlap variables including cognitive abnormalities and poor functioning might shed further light on the potential subtypes of illness most closely associated with genetic variation in YWHAH. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.