Theory of mind and social functioning in first episode psychosis

Sarah A Sullivan, Daniela Herzig, Christine Mohr, Glyn H Lewis, Rhiannon Corcoran, Richard Drake, Jonathan Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction. There is evidence of associations between social functioning and
theory of mind performance and between social functioning and negative
symptoms in chronic psychosis. This study investigates these associations in those with first episode psychosis who are unaffected by factors related to long-term mental illness. Our first hypothesis states that there is an association between theory of mind and social functioning. The second hypothesis states that there is no association between symptoms of psychosis and social functioning.
Methods. Fifty-two individuals with first episode psychosis were assessed for social functioning, theory of mind ability (using the Hinting test with verbal stimuli and the Visual Cartoon test with pictorial stimuli), and symptoms of psychosis. Multivariable logistic regression was used to examine associations.
Results. Social functioning and theory of mind were associated when measured by the Hinting test (OR 1.70, 95% CI 1.08, 2.66), but not with the Visual Cartoon test (ToM jokes OR 0.61, 95% CI 0.15, 2.53). There was no association between social functioning and symptoms (psychotic symptoms; OR 0.95, 95% CI 0.81, 1.12;selected negative symptoms; OR 1.33, 95% CI 0.78, 2.25).
Conclusions. Theory of mind assessed by verbal stimuli is associated with social
functioning in a population with first episode psychosis. These findings may be
related to language disorders in psychosis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-43
JournalCognitive Neuropsychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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