Original Articles

Decreased Theory of Mind Abilities and Increased Emotional Dysregulation in Adolescents With ASD and ADHD


Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Tekirdağ State Hospital, Tekirdağ, Turkey

Alpha Psychiatry 2021; 22: 100-105
DOI: 10.5455/apd.135050
Read: 2336 Downloads: 669 Published: 18 March 2021

Objective: The aim of this study is to evaluate the possible relationship theory of mind (ToM) and emotion regulation (ER) skills in adolescents diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). 

Methods: This study comprised 60 individuals with ADHD and 60 individuals with ASD according to DSM-5 and between the ages of 12-16, and 60 adolescents without any psychiatric diagnosis. The Turkish version of the schedule for affective disorders and schizophrenia for school-age children, both present and lifetime versions, was applied to assess psychopathology and comorbidity. The intelligence level of the patients was assessed with the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised. Reading the mind in the eyes test, the Faux Pas Test, and the hinting task were given to patients to evaluate the ToM skills. The difficulties in ER Scale were also used to evaluate the skills of regulating emotions. 

Results: Adolescent patients with ADHD and ASD have difficulties in ToM and ER skills. Adolescents diagnosed with ASD had more difficulty in ToM and ER than adolescents with ADHD. 

Discussion: This study supports the idea that ADHD and ASD are related to deficits in ToM and ER skills. Therefore, further studies are required to confirm the findings of this study.

Cite this article as: Dağdelen F. Decreased theory of mind abilities and increased emotional dysregulation in adolescents with ASD and ADHD. Alpha Psychiatry.  2021;22(2):100-105.

EISSN 2757-8038