The role of theory of mind in the emotional, behavioural and communicative functioning of adopted adolescents

Barnett, Alastair Edward (2017). The role of theory of mind in the emotional, behavioural and communicative functioning of adopted adolescents. University of Birmingham. Clin.Psy.D.

PDF - Accepted Version

Download (867kB)


The thesis is comprised of three sections. The first is a Literature Review covering studies published in the English language that investigate mentalizing skills amongst adolescents either with diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder or with behavioural traits characteristic of this condition. There is increased acceptance the psychological difficulties and behaviours that comprise the diagnosis of BPD in adults begin in childhood & adolescence. The Review examines the studies to date investigating the role of mentalization in the onset and maintenance of these difficulties, with suggestions for further research in this area.

The second section describes a quantitative study exploring mentalization functioning of a group of adolescents who have been adopted, compared with a group of age and gender-matched non-adopted adolescents. Early adversity (e.g. child abuse and neglect, admission into foster care) has been associated with a range of later life negative outcomes, including mental health. For the adopted group, analyses were also undertaken to explore for relationships between current functioning (emotional, behavioural, mentalization, communication skills) and early experiences. Results of statistical analyses are presented, followed by discussion. The study findings are considered with respect to areas for future research.

References for the first and second papers are included after each paper, respectively. The third section consists of Appendices, including a Public Domain briefing paper, quality estimations of the research studies reviewed, and a summary table of each study article. Information for participants, and consent and ethics documentation relating to the empirical paper, are also included.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Clin.Psy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Clin.Psy.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year