Emotion perception and theory of mind in adolescents with major depression

Chen Dror, Victor Portnoy, Shomrit Dayan-Rosenblum, Yari Gvion, Yuval Bloch, Dennis Boyle, Hagai Maoz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The research of theory of mind (ToM) and emotion perception (EP) in adolescents with major depressive disorder (MDD) is scarce, and no study to date has investigated the association between EP and long-term outcomes of adolescents with MDD. The aim of the current study was to evaluate ToM and EP in adolescents with MDD, as compared to healthy controls (HCs). In addition, we aimed to assess the association between impairment in ToM and EP, depressive symptom severity, and long-term outcome in the MDD group. Methods: We compared the performance of 14 adolescents with MDD and 25 HC in the Facial Expression Recognition Task (FERT) and the Interpersonal Perception Task. We followed up with the MDD group 2 years later to assess the level of their depressive symptoms using the Children's Depression Rating Scale-Revised (CDRS-R). Results: No differences were found between adolescents with MDD and HC in the ToM and FERT tasks. Also, within the MDD group, there was no association between the severity of depressive symptoms and task performance. In the MDD group, there was a significant correlation between lower levels of accuracy in the FERT during the index depressive episode and lower CDRS-R scores on follow-up 2 years later (r2 = 0.35, p = 0.021). Conclusions: EP impairments in adolescents with MDD might predict worse long-term outcome. Further research is needed to verify our findings and to assess for a possible neurobiological underpinning for the state and trait impairments in EP in adolescents with MDD.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Neuropsychiatrica
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Scandinavian College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

Keywords

  • adolescents
  • emotion perception
  • major depression
  • theory of mind

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