Ongoing development of social cognition in adolescence

Nora C Vetter, Kristina Leipold, Matthias Kliegel, Louise H Phillips, Mareike Altgassen

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65 Citations (Scopus)


Age differences in social cognition between adolescents and young adults were investigated. Two large groups of adolescents and young adults were given tasks of theory of mind and emotion recognition. In addition, to control for possibly related basic cognitive development, working memory, speed of processing, and verbal ability were assessed. A strong age effect was revealed across both measures of social cognition. Adolescents performed with a lower accuracy than adults. Further analyses indicated that those age differences remained significant even after controlling for basic cognitive abilities. Exploratory analyses indicated no influence of pubertal phase on social cognition. Results suggest ongoing development of social cognition across adolescence, independent of individual differences in more basic cognitive abilities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-629
Number of pages15
JournalChild Neuropsychology
Issue number6
Early online date31 Aug 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • adolescence
  • puberty
  • social cognition
  • emotion
  • basic cognitive abilities


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