Theory of mind & executive function in Asperger’s Syndrome and traumatic brain injury: a comparative study and clinical research portfolio

Shields, Jennifer (2010) Theory of mind & executive function in Asperger’s Syndrome and traumatic brain injury: a comparative study and clinical research portfolio. D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Background: Deficits in inferring mental states, (theory of mind: ToM) and executive function (EF) are frequently found in Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) and are common after traumatic brain Injury (TBI). Although there are commonalities between ToM and EF, there are few studies examining them by comparing these two clinical groups. Aim: To compare ToM and EF in individuals with a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) to those with TBI relative to a control group. Methods: A between groups design compared three groups of 15 participants with TBI or AS and healthy controls. Measures included the Faces Test, Eyes Test and Cartoon Test, Hayling Sentence Completion and Delis Kaplan Executive Function Subtests. Control measures for mood and general intellect were also administered. esults: The TBI and AS groups performed more poorly on ToM measures than controls F (2, 40) = 16.39, p = 0.001. The TBI group performed more poorly than the AS group on ToM measures F (1, 28) = 8.17, p = 0.01; however this effect became non
significant upon covarying for anxiety. The TBI group performed significantly more poorly than controls on all measures of EF. No significant differences in EF were found between TBI and AS groups. Scores on EF and ToM measures were correlated in the AS group but not the TBI group. Conclusions: Although individuals with TBI and AS have similar levels of impairment in EF and ToM, findings suggest that different mechanisms may underpin between group differences. Applications: Existing interventions for ToM deficits in AS may have clinical utility with individuals with TBI, however further research is needed
in this area.

Item Type: Thesis (D Clin Psy)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: asperger's syndrome, traumatic brain injury, theory of mind, executive function
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Supervisor's Name: McMillan, Prof. Tom
Date of Award: 2010
Depositing User: Miss Jennifer Shields
Unique ID: glathesis:2010-2206
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2012
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2015 08:42

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