Theory of mind, emotional intelligence, and social stress in adolescents with HFASD

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Rist, Paige
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Many individuals with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (HFASD) experience difficulties communicating effectively in their social world. It has been suggested that low levels of theory of mind, the ability to recognize that other individuals have unique beliefs, desires, emotions, and perspectives, may be a significant contributing factor to these social communicative challenges. Many current interventions focus on increasing theory of mind ability in individuals with HFASD. However, preliminary research shows that theory of mind interventions may have an unintended consequence of increasing the level of stress these individuals experience in social situations. This study explores the impact of both theory of mind and emotional intelligence on the social stress level of individuals with HFASD. Results from this study suggest that introducing emotional intelligence components to current theory of mind interventions may increase the individual’s understanding of others and their ability to succeed socially without increasing their level of social stress.
Autism , Emotion recognition , Mental illness , Philosophy of mind , Psychology, Applied , Youth with disabilities , Dissertations, Academic