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Title: Understanding and Being there for each other: Advanced Theory of Mind and Peer Support amongst Indian adolescents
Authors: Karmakar, Sushmita
Keywords: School of Human Ecology
Chetna Duggal
Advanced theory of Mind
Cognitive Theory Of Mind
Affective Theory of Mind
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: Theory of Mind (ToM) is the ability to understand others and has been studied extensively by developmental and social psychologists. Research suggests that ToM continues to develop across the lifespan and its development is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Advanced ToM (aToM) involves cognitive and affective components which have been found to have implications for identification of distress amongst peers and providing support to them. Considering adolescence as a phase characterized by increased social interactions, peer relationships become critical and understanding communicative intentions of peers, their emotions and providing support to each other can strengthen peer relationships and personal well-being. A quantitative study was designed to assess gender differences in aToM ability in Indian adolescents in the age group of 13-14 years. Cognitive ToM was measured using the Hinting task and Affective ToM with Unexpected Outcomes test. Three open-ended questions on peer support were also included. 108 students from grade VIII and IX of an English-medium, CBSE-board school in an urban area in New Delhi participated in the study. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics, inferential statistics (t-test, Pearson‟s correlation) and content analysis. Findings revealed that girls performed significantly better than boys in both cognitive and affective ToM indicating an advantage in understanding intentions and emotions of others. The cognitive and affective ToM abilities were moderately correlated and the findings were understood in the light of neuroscientific evidence for both abilities having separate pathways in the brain. On peer support, girls focused on understanding the nature of problem faced by peers and provided emotional support along with giving space and boys used strategies like using humor, problem solving, and taking action to make peers feel better. High scorers on aToM proposed they would provide emotional support and hope to peers in need, which shows importance of having aToM, as opposed to low scorers who used general strategies to make them feel nice or proposed some unhelpful responses. The discussion links the findings of the study to mental health and peer support. Keywords. Advanced theory of Mind (aToM), Cognitive theory of mind, Affective theory of mind, Peer support
Appears in Collections:M.Phil.

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01_Title Page.pdf13.45 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
02_Declaration.pdf149.74 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
03_Certificate.pdf149.75 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
04_Contents.pdf225.5 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
05_List Of Tables.pdf151.23 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
06_List Of Figures.pdf149.5 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
07_Acknowledgement.pdf151.46 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
08_Abstract.pdf151.83 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
09_Introduction & Review Of Literature.pdf368.08 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
10_Methods.pdf323.39 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
11_Findings.pdf871.2 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
12_Discussion.pdf175.97 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
13_Limitations.pdf88.87 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
14_Conclusion.pdf173.69 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
15_Implications.pdf167.22 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
16_References.pdf366.26 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
17_Appendix.pdf334.29 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

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