Development of affective theory of mind across adolescence: disentangling the role of executive functions

Nora C Vetter, Marieke Altgassen, Louise Phillips, Caitlin E. V. Mahy, Matthias Kliegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Citations (Scopus)


Theory of mind, the ability to understand mental states, involves inferences about others' cognitive (cognitive theory of mind) and emotional (affective theory of mind) mental states. The current study explored the role of executive functions in developing affective theory of mind across adolescence. Affective theory of mind and three subcomponents of executive functions (inhibition, updating, and shifting) were measured. Affective theory of mind was positively related to age, and all three executive functions. Specifically, inhibition explained the largest amount of variance in age-related differences in affective theory of mind.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-125
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental Neuropsychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013


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