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Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

Print version ISSN 2237-6089On-line version ISSN 2238-0019

Abstract

BOTH, Luciane Maria; BENETTI, Sílvia Pereira da Cruz  and  GOODMAN, Geoff. Reflective function and identity in adolescents with clinical and nonclinical symptoms. Trends Psychiatry Psychother. [online]. 2019, vol.41, n.2, pp.176-185.  Epub July 15, 2019. ISSN 2237-6089.  https://doi.org/10.1590/2237-6089-2018-0067.

Introduction

Reflective function is developed in the context of secure attachment and corresponds to the ability to understand one’s mental states and those of others. Thus, identity develops, which relates to the experience of self as unique, continuous and coherent.

Objective

To identify reflective function and identity features in adolescents with clinical and nonclinical symptoms of mental health problems.

Method

Participants were 188 Brazilian high school students aged 14-17 years: 30.3% with clinical symptoms and 69.9% with nonclinical symptoms.

Results

Adolescents with clinical symptoms showed lower levels of reflective function and greater disintegration of identity.

Conclusion

Adolescence is a vulnerable time for mental health problems associated with reflective function and identity. Early identification of symptoms is a matter that needs attention to prevent future consequences.

Keywords : Reflective function; mentalizing; identity; adolescence.

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