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Title: Empathy in adolescents with externalizing problems : reflective function and self-other control
Author: Chow, C.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8498 6371
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis examines the underlying mechanisms behind empathy deficits in adolescents with externalizing problems. Individual difference in reflective function (RF) and imitative self-other control are investigated in typically developing adolescents and adolescents with externalizing problems. Owing to the lack of measurements of RF for this age group, RF features in adolescents were initially explored using the existing coding scale. This was found unsuitable, and the coding scale was modified in order to capture the unique RF features in adolescents. The relationship between psychological adaptation and callous-unemotional (CU) traits was examined in 95 typically developing adolescents. Results indicated that RF predicted both internalizing and externalizing problems. However, the association between RF and externalizing problems was not significant after the internalizing problems were controlled for. In contrast, CU traits robustly predicted externalizing problems. The thesis then focused on the neural mechanism of related social-cognitive deficits and CU traits. The shared temporal and neural processes between ToM ability and imitative self-other control were examined in typically developing adolescents and adolescents with conduct problems in two studies. In the first study, two theory-of-mind related ERP components; TP450 and LFSW were found in the neural process of imitative self-other control in typically developing adolescents. The other study showed that adolescents with callous-unemotional traits took longer to execute imitative self-other control. Furthermore, adolescents with conduct problems demonstrated an atypical neural response in the early stage of the neural processes involved in imitative control. The implication of RF capacity, imitative self-other control and CU traits in adolescents with externalizing problems were discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available