27-09-2022 | Original Article
Associations Between Childhood Trauma Characteristics and Theory of Mind in Adults: Results From a Large, Diverse Sample
Gepubliceerd in: Child Psychiatry & Human DevelopmentLog in om toegang te krijgen
Theory of mind (ToM) is an essential social cognitive process encompassing abilities to represent and understand others’ mental states. Although previous reports linked childhood trauma to social cognitive deficits, how characteristics of trauma exposure, such as subtype or timing, affect ToM remains unaddressed. Using data from a diverse adult sample (n = 2200), we tested whether exposure type and first exposure timing of common childhood trauma associated with ToM. Neither interpersonal loss (β = − 0.25, p = 0.170, [− 0.61, 0.10]) nor child maltreatment (β = − 0.21, p = 0.369, [− 0.66, 0.25]) was associated with lower ToM. There was no effect of timing of age at which trauma was experienced (F = 2.19, p = 0.087). While we did not identify age-dependent effects, future studies should examine links between timing or chronicity of prospectively reported childhood trauma and social cognition. Understanding of how childhood experiences shape ToM could reveal mechanisms underlying social cognition development and inform prevention efforts.