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A prospective longitudinal study of children's theory of mind and adolescent involvement in bullying.
J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2012 Mar; 53(3):254-61.JC

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Theory of mind (ToM) allows the understanding and prediction of other people's behaviours based on their mental states (e.g. beliefs). It is important for healthy social relationships and thus may contribute towards children's involvement in bullying. The present study investigated whether children involved in bullying during early adolescence had poor ToM in childhood.

METHOD

Participants were members of the Environmental Risk (E-Risk) Longitudinal Twin Study, a nationally representative sample of 2,232 children and their families. We visited families when children were 5, 7, 10 and 12 years. ToM was assessed when the children were 5 years using eight standardized tasks. Identification of those children who were involved in bullying as victims, bullies and bully-victims using mothers', teachers' and children's reports was carried out when they were 12 years' old.

RESULTS

Poor ToM predicted becoming a victim (effect size, d = 0.26), bully (d = 0.25) or bully-victim (d = 0.44) in early adolescence. These associations remained for victims and bully-victims when child-specific (e.g. IQ) and family factors (e.g. child maltreatment) were controlled for. Emotional and behavioural problems during middle childhood did not modify the association between poor ToM and adolescent bullying experiences.

CONCLUSION

Identifying and supporting children with poor ToM early in life could help reduce their vulnerability for involvement in bullying and thus limit its adverse effects on mental health.

Authors+Show Affiliations

MRC Social, Genetic, and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Twin Study

Language

eng

PubMed ID

22081896

Citation

Shakoor, Sania, et al. "A Prospective Longitudinal Study of Children's Theory of Mind and Adolescent Involvement in Bullying." Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines, vol. 53, no. 3, 2012, pp. 254-61.
Shakoor S, Jaffee SR, Bowes L, et al. A prospective longitudinal study of children's theory of mind and adolescent involvement in bullying. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2012;53(3):254-61.
Shakoor, S., Jaffee, S. R., Bowes, L., Ouellet-Morin, I., Andreou, P., Happé, F., Moffitt, T. E., & Arseneault, L. (2012). A prospective longitudinal study of children's theory of mind and adolescent involvement in bullying. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines, 53(3), 254-61. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2011.02488.x
Shakoor S, et al. A Prospective Longitudinal Study of Children's Theory of Mind and Adolescent Involvement in Bullying. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2012;53(3):254-61. PubMed PMID: 22081896.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - A prospective longitudinal study of children's theory of mind and adolescent involvement in bullying. AU - Shakoor,Sania, AU - Jaffee,Sara R, AU - Bowes,Lucy, AU - Ouellet-Morin,Isabelle, AU - Andreou,Penelope, AU - Happé,Francesca, AU - Moffitt,Terrie E, AU - Arseneault,Louise, Y1 - 2011/11/14/ PY - 2011/11/16/entrez PY - 2011/11/16/pubmed PY - 2012/6/8/medline SP - 254 EP - 61 JF - Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines JO - J Child Psychol Psychiatry VL - 53 IS - 3 N2 - BACKGROUND: Theory of mind (ToM) allows the understanding and prediction of other people's behaviours based on their mental states (e.g. beliefs). It is important for healthy social relationships and thus may contribute towards children's involvement in bullying. The present study investigated whether children involved in bullying during early adolescence had poor ToM in childhood. METHOD: Participants were members of the Environmental Risk (E-Risk) Longitudinal Twin Study, a nationally representative sample of 2,232 children and their families. We visited families when children were 5, 7, 10 and 12 years. ToM was assessed when the children were 5 years using eight standardized tasks. Identification of those children who were involved in bullying as victims, bullies and bully-victims using mothers', teachers' and children's reports was carried out when they were 12 years' old. RESULTS: Poor ToM predicted becoming a victim (effect size, d = 0.26), bully (d = 0.25) or bully-victim (d = 0.44) in early adolescence. These associations remained for victims and bully-victims when child-specific (e.g. IQ) and family factors (e.g. child maltreatment) were controlled for. Emotional and behavioural problems during middle childhood did not modify the association between poor ToM and adolescent bullying experiences. CONCLUSION: Identifying and supporting children with poor ToM early in life could help reduce their vulnerability for involvement in bullying and thus limit its adverse effects on mental health. SN - 1469-7610 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/22081896/A_prospective_longitudinal_study_of_children's_theory_of_mind_and_adolescent_involvement_in_bullying_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2011.02488.x DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -