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Journal Article


Badoud D, Luyten P, Fonseca-Pedrero E, Eliez S, Fonagy P, Debbané M. PLoS One 2015; 10(12): e0145892.


Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College London, London, United Kingdom.


(Copyright © 2015, Public Library of Science)






INTRODUCTION: The capacity to understand one's own actions and those of others in terms of cognitive and affective mental states (i.e., reflective functioning or mentalizing) is thought to play a critical role in both typical and atypical development. To date, however, no self-report tool is available for assessing reflective functioning ability in French-speaking samples. The first aim of this study is to investigate the reliability and validity of the reflective functioning questionnaire (RFQ) in French-speaking adolescents and adults. Secondly, we investigate whether low levels of reflective functioning were associated with non-suicidal self-injury.

METHODS: 130 adolescents (66 females, Mage = 15.72, SDage = 1.74) and 253 adults (168 females, Mage = 23.10, SDage = 2.56) completed a French translation of the RFQ and a battery of self-reported questionnaires to assess a set of clinical (alexithymia; borderline traits; internalizing and externalizing symptoms) and psychological (empathy; mindfulness) variables.

RESULTS: The current results showed configural invariance of the original two-factor structure of the RFQ across French-speaking adolescents and adults and satisfactory reliability and construct validity of the two subscales. Furthermore, we observed that recent episodes of non-suicidal self-injury were associated with lower levels of reflective functioning in the adult, but not in the adolescent, sample.

DISCUSSION: The present research has methodological and clinical implications in that it provides the first evidence that the RFQ can be used to reliably assess reflective functioning in French-speaking population. The study further shows that impaired ability to consider mental states that lie behind behaviors might play a role in non-suicidal self-injury, at least in adults.

Language: en


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