A Closer Look At the Teenagers’ Minds

Recommend to others!

A new research led by Carla Sharp is mainly focused on how teens think and whether or not their thoughts may be indicative of a personality disorder. Sharp is a professor in Clinical Psychology and Director of the Developmental Psychology Laboratory of the University of Houston.

This study led by Sharp includes a two-year period wherein the relationship between teens who are hypermentalizing and teens with borderline personality disorder. The term mentalizing describes the ability of a person to infer and attribute thoughts and emotions in order to understand a predict another individual’s behavior. On the other hand, hypermentalizing refers to excessive and inaccurate mentalizing.

Sharp shared, “Why does someone with borderline personality disorder key a car, if doing so will not lead to good consequences? What compels her make that decision. I am trying to understand the development of the disorder and what happens in the brain, and what happens in the minds of these children as they develop to put them on a different trajectory compared to their peers.”

The results of this research can greatly help improve early diagnosis, immediate treatment and identification of borderline personality disorder among the adolescents. She also said that these findings can sharpen strategies for treatment for the said disorder i.e. preventing a person from hypermentalizing and allowing the person to stick to the facts instead of overthinking.

“Borderline personality disorder is a condition in which people have long-term patterns of unstable or turbulent emotions about themselves and others,” Sharp noted. “These inner experiences often cause them to take impulsive actions and have chaotic relationships.” This certain disorder have several hallmark signs like excessive angst, affective instability, a pattern of self-harm for the past couple of years, abandonment fears, impulsivity, relationship struggles and difficulties, eating disorders, and delinquencies.

“Clinicians have been reluctant to diagnose borderline personality disorder in adolescence because there is the notion that personality is not fully developed in childhood and adolescence,” according to Sharp. “We know that the brain is only fully developed by age 25, so how can we diagnose a personality disorder in someone if they don’t have a fully developed brain yet?”

However, Sharp discovered in her study that children and teenagers have patterns of interaction with others which are stable and that parents or guardians can describe their children in terms that remain to be stable for the next few years.

Sharp further shared that “Teens do not wake up at 19 and have a personality disorder on the first day of their 19th year, so there must be some precursors to the disorders. There’s been a group of people, including myself, advocating that we not necessarily diagnose borderline personality disorder in adolescence, but that we assess for it to make sure that we don’t miss these children.”

“The next step is to try to do this work while neuroimaging the teen’s brain, so that we can look at the biological correlates of this. Such research could potentially lead to pharmacological intervention in addition to the talk therapy,” she concluded.





  1. [...] period wherein the relationship between teens who are hypermentalizing and … Read more on Heal Blog (blog)Krist Samaritan Center announces two promotions And July, who will continue to serve as a licensed [...]

Speak Your Mind


Current day month ye@r *