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This study examined ‘Theory of Mind’ (ToM) functioning, its association with psychometric schizotypy and with self-reported psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) and depressive symptoms, in a community sample of adolescents. Seventy-two adolescents (mean age 14.51 years) from Barcelona, Spain, completed questionnaires assessing PLEs, depressive symptoms, and schizotypy. A verbal ToM task and a vocabulary test were administered. The effect of symptomatology, vocabulary ability, age, and gender on task performance was explored. Neither total score on schizotypy nor PLEs were associated with ToM performance. A significant effect of vocabulary on adolescent's performance of both ToM and control stories was found. ToM showed significant negative associations with positive schizotypy, and with one cluster of positive PLEs: first-rank experiences. Positive significant associations between ToM and persecutory delusions and the impulsive aspects of schizotypy were found. Depressive symptoms did not affect ToM performance. Positive schizotypal traits and first-rank symptoms are associated with ToM deficits in adolescents. Results support the trait-(versus state-) dependent notion of ToM impairments in schizophrenia. ToM may be a developmental impairment associated with positive schizotypy and PLEs.


School of Psychology

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Journal Article

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