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Title: 'Everyday problem solving' and 'theory of mind' in the dementias
Author: Pendrey, Rachel
ISNI:       0000 0004 2699 0516
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2006
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Impairments in everyday problem solving have been found in participants with neurodevelopmental disorders (Channon et al, 2001; 2003) and brain injuries, Channon and Crawford (1999). Impairments in Theory of Mind (ToM) have been found in participants with neurodevelopmental disorders, Baron-Cohen et al (1985), brain injuries, (Bach et al, 2000; Rowe et al, 2001) and Pronto- Temporal Dementia (FTD), Gregory et al (2002). The aims of the present study were to investigate whether there was impairment of everyday problem solving in the dementias; the contribution of Executive Functioning (EF), ToM and abstract language abilities to everyday problem solving ability and whether there was a relationship between everyday problem solving or ToM to social functioning. Twelve participants with a dementia and thirteen healthy older adult control participants completed measures of everyday problem solving, EF, ToM and abstract language. Participants with a dementia produced significantly poorer quality solutions to everyday problems, than healthy older adults, but were unimpaired in the number of potential solutions they were able to generate. The study did not indicate a relationship between general cognitive functioning, EF or ToM and everyday problem solving. Participants with a dementia also did significantly poorer on ToM tests. It was not demonstrated that either general cognitive functioning or EF was related to ToM performance. There was no evidence for the hypothesised relationship between everyday problem solving or ToM and social behaviour. Methodological limitations of the study are discussed and suggestions for future research are made. Reflections on the research process include discussion of opportunities and challenges for clinical psychologists conducting research with clinical populations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available