Supporting mentalizing in primary school children: the effects of thoughts in mind project for children (TiM-C) on metacognition, emotion regulation and theory of mind

Elisabetta Lombardi, Annalisa Valle, Federica Bianco, Ilaria Castelli, Davide Massaro, Antonella Marchetti

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

Abstract

Mentalization is a useful ability for social functioning and a crucial aspect of mentalizing is emotion regulation. Literature suggests programmes for children and adults to increase mentalizing abilities useful both for emotional and social competences. For this reason, the issue of how to prompt children’s mentalization has started to attract researchers’ attention, supporting the importance of the interpersonal dimension for the individual differences in the developmental of mentalization. The TiM (Thoughts in Mind) Project, a training programme based on the explanation of mentalization mechanisms and designed for adults, deals with emotion regulation. Starting from the TiM Project, this study tests the effects of the TiM Child (TiM-C) training programme, over a control training programme, a conversational training designed for the school context, in children attending Year 2 of primary school. We designed a training based on narratives, followed by multiple-choice questions and conversations about mental states. Our results revealed significant improvements over the training period only in the TiM-C Project group for Metacognition, Emotion Regulation Strategies and a Theory of Mind task. As far as the educational implications, our findings suggest that it is possible to enhance mentalization through activities at school by promoting not only the understanding of the relations between mind and emotion, but also metacognitive skills.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)975-986
Numero di pagine12
RivistaCOGNITION & EMOTION
Volume36
DOI
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2022

Keywords

  • Mentalizing
  • emotion regulation
  • metacognition
  • theory of mind
  • training

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