Title

Epistemic Reasoning and Adolescent Egocentrism: Relations to Internalizing and Externalizing Symptoms in Problem Youth

Publication Date

9-21-2006

Document Type

Article

Abstract

This investigation addressed the question of how two forms of social cognitive reasoning - epistemic reasoning and adolescent egocentrism - interface with externalizing and internalizing forms of psychopathology during adolescence. Adolescents' epistemic reasoning (i.e., types of belief entitlement, or degree of doubt, held by an individual when confronted with contradictory sides of an issue), and imaginary audience and personal fable ideation, were assessed in a sample of 29 adolescent boys with behavioral problems and 30 of their peers without behavioral problems. To assess internalizing and externalizing symptomatology, teachers completed the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL-TRF). Results revealed that, compared to those without behavior problems, boys with behavioral problems were lower in epistemic reasoning. Further analyses revealed consistent relations between dimensions of social cognitive reasoning to specific forms of psychopathology. These findings suggest that social cognitive reasoning, particularly epistemic doubt, is important in understanding problem behaviors among typical and atypical adolescents.

Publication Title

Journal of Youth and Adolescence

Volume

35

Issue

6

First Page

999

DOI

10.1007/s10964-006-9054-5

Version

pre-print, post-print

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