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Thinking about Others' Minds: Mental State Inference in Boys with Conduct Problems and Callous-Unemotional Traits

Roberts, R; McCrory, E; Bird, G; Sharp, M; Roberts, L; Viding, E; (2020) Thinking about Others' Minds: Mental State Inference in Boys with Conduct Problems and Callous-Unemotional Traits. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 10.1007/s10802-020-00664-1. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Children with conduct problems (CP) and high levels of callous-unemotional traits (CP/HCU) have been found to have an intact ability to represent other minds, however, they behave in ways that indicate a reduced propensity to consider other people's thoughts and feelings. Here we report findings from three tasks assessing different aspects of mentalising in 81 boys aged 11-16 [Typically developing (TD) n = 27; CP/HCU n = 28; CP and low levels of callous-unemotional traits (CP/LCU) n = 26]. Participants completed the Movie Assessment of Social Cognition (MASC), a task assessing ability/propensity to incorporate judgements concerning an individual's mind into mental state inference; provided a written description of a good friend to assess mind-mindedness; and completed the Social Judgement Task (SJT), a new measure assessing mentalising about antisocial actions. Boys with CP/HCU had more difficulty in accurately inferring others' mental states in the MASC than TD and CP/LCU boys. There were no group differences in the number of mind-related comments as assessed by the mind-mindedness protocol or in responses to the SJT task. These findings suggest that although the ability to represent mental states is intact, CP/HCU boys are less likely to update mental state inferences as a function of different minds.

Type: Article
Title: Thinking about Others' Minds: Mental State Inference in Boys with Conduct Problems and Callous-Unemotional Traits
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10802-020-00664-1
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-020-00664-1
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Adolescent males, Callous-unemotional traits, Conduct problems, Mentalising
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10105487
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