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postgraduate thesis: Social cognitive impairment in people with epilepsy

TitleSocial cognitive impairment in people with epilepsy
Authors
Issue Date2012
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Ma, M. [馬文嬌]. (2012). Social cognitive impairment in people with epilepsy. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4819925
AbstractEpilepsy is a highly prevalent neurological disorder affecting people from all walks of life. Psychosocial adjustment and psychological morbidity have been longstanding challenges for people with this clinical diagnosis. However, very little is known about the psychosocial correlates of psychological morbidity, such as anxiety and depression, among people with epilepsy in Hong Kong. Previous clinical studies suggest social cognitive impairment may contribute to the poor psychosocial integration of people with epilepsy. An important aspect of social cognition is the ability to attribute mental states to others so as to understand their behavior, desires, and intentions. This prerequisite for successful social interactions is termed mentalizing. This thesis reports two studies conducted to examine the psychosocial correlates of psychological morbidity among people with epilepsy, and their mentalizing ability with regard to the neuropsychological basis of mentalizing deficits that are specific to this neurological disorder. Study 1 examines the association of psychological morbidity with a broad array of personality traits and social skills in a sample of 54 local Chinese people with epilepsy. Participants completed the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), the Social Performance Survey Schedule (SPSS), and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) via semi-structured interviews. The findings showed that, independent of demographic and medical variables and perceived illness-related impact, three personality traits (harm avoidance temperament, self-directedness, and cooperation) and two subscales of interpersonal behaviors (both positive and negative social skills) are significant psychosocial predictors of adjustment among Chinese people with epilepsy. Study 2 examines the neuropsychological basis of mentalizing deficits in people with epilepsy. Thirty-nine right-handed local Chinese people with epilepsy and 38 matched healthy controls were recruited for this study. The eyes test and the faux pas test were employed to study the decoding and reasoning stages of mentalizing, respectively. The findings showed that, relative to the healthy controls, the participants with epilepsy were impaired in decoding and reasoning about the affective aspect of social materials; and at the same time, they were impaired in reasoning about the cognitive aspects of others’ mental states—that is, in inferring intentionality. Such a pattern of mentalizing deficits suggests a wider structural abnormality that may be implicated in the brains of people with epilepsy. In conclusion, epilepsy is associated with social cognitive impairment in emotion recognition and intentionality inference, involving both decoding and reasoning about the affective and cognitive aspects of others’ mental state, which may predispose people with epilepsy to maladaptive psychosocial adjustment and functioning. The significance and implications of the results are discussed.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectEpileptics - Psychology.
Dept/ProgramPsychology
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/188740

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorMa, Man-kiu.-
dc.contributor.author馬文嬌.-
dc.date.accessioned2013-09-08T15:07:49Z-
dc.date.available2013-09-08T15:07:49Z-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.identifier.citationMa, M. [馬文嬌]. (2012). Social cognitive impairment in people with epilepsy. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4819925-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/188740-
dc.description.abstractEpilepsy is a highly prevalent neurological disorder affecting people from all walks of life. Psychosocial adjustment and psychological morbidity have been longstanding challenges for people with this clinical diagnosis. However, very little is known about the psychosocial correlates of psychological morbidity, such as anxiety and depression, among people with epilepsy in Hong Kong. Previous clinical studies suggest social cognitive impairment may contribute to the poor psychosocial integration of people with epilepsy. An important aspect of social cognition is the ability to attribute mental states to others so as to understand their behavior, desires, and intentions. This prerequisite for successful social interactions is termed mentalizing. This thesis reports two studies conducted to examine the psychosocial correlates of psychological morbidity among people with epilepsy, and their mentalizing ability with regard to the neuropsychological basis of mentalizing deficits that are specific to this neurological disorder. Study 1 examines the association of psychological morbidity with a broad array of personality traits and social skills in a sample of 54 local Chinese people with epilepsy. Participants completed the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), the Social Performance Survey Schedule (SPSS), and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) via semi-structured interviews. The findings showed that, independent of demographic and medical variables and perceived illness-related impact, three personality traits (harm avoidance temperament, self-directedness, and cooperation) and two subscales of interpersonal behaviors (both positive and negative social skills) are significant psychosocial predictors of adjustment among Chinese people with epilepsy. Study 2 examines the neuropsychological basis of mentalizing deficits in people with epilepsy. Thirty-nine right-handed local Chinese people with epilepsy and 38 matched healthy controls were recruited for this study. The eyes test and the faux pas test were employed to study the decoding and reasoning stages of mentalizing, respectively. The findings showed that, relative to the healthy controls, the participants with epilepsy were impaired in decoding and reasoning about the affective aspect of social materials; and at the same time, they were impaired in reasoning about the cognitive aspects of others’ mental states—that is, in inferring intentionality. Such a pattern of mentalizing deficits suggests a wider structural abnormality that may be implicated in the brains of people with epilepsy. In conclusion, epilepsy is associated with social cognitive impairment in emotion recognition and intentionality inference, involving both decoding and reasoning about the affective and cognitive aspects of others’ mental state, which may predispose people with epilepsy to maladaptive psychosocial adjustment and functioning. The significance and implications of the results are discussed.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B48199254-
dc.subject.lcshEpileptics - Psychology.-
dc.titleSocial cognitive impairment in people with epilepsy-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4819925-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplinePsychology-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b4819925-
dc.date.hkucongregation2012-

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