Mentalizing Strategies for Navigating the Social World in Adolescence

Williamson, Victoria Guazzelli and Mills, Kate


Mentalizing—inferring the mental states of others—continues to develop into and throughout adolescence. This observed increase in mentalizing sophistication is thought to aid adolescents in navigating increasingly complex social relationships and contexts. However, developmental science has not measured how mentalizing as a multifaceted construct is applied adaptively in social contexts, or how mentalizing strategies relate to functional outcomes, such as internalizing mental health concerns, in adolescence. This paper includes a review of the literature describing approaches to measure mentalizing strategies during adolescence. We also describe a theoretical perspective that may be harnessed to guide future studies designed to measure the influence of social environmental factors on the development of these mentalizing strategies during adolescence.

Cite this paper:

  title = {Mentalizing {Strategies} for {Navigating} the {Social} {World} in {Adolescence}},
  url = {https://psyarxiv.com/47ym2/},
  doi = {10.31234/osf.io/47ym2},
  language = {en-us},
  urldate = {2022-07-23},
  publisher = {PsyArXiv},
  author = {Williamson, Victoria Guazzelli and Mills, Kate},
  month = mar,
  year = {2022},
  keywords = {Adolescence, Cognitive Development, Developmental Psychology, friendships, Individual Differences, internalizing, measurement, perspective taking, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Social and Personality Psychology, Social Cognition, Social Development, social network, theory of mind}