Increased moral condemnation of accidental harm in institutionalized adolescents. Baez, S., Herrera, E., García, A. M., Huepe, D., Santamaría-García, H., & Ibáñez, A. 2018


AUTORES Baez, S., Herrera, E., García, A. M., Huepe, D., Santamaría-García, H., & Ibáñez, A.
AÑO 2018
JOURNAL Scientific Reports
VOLUMEN August 2, 2018
ABSTRACT Social deprivation, as faced by children in institutional rearing, involves socio-cognitive deficits that may persist into adolescence. In particular, two relevant domains which prove sensitive to pre-adult neurodevelopment are theory of mind (ToM) and moral judgment (a complex skill which partially depend upon ToM). However, no study has assessed moral evaluation in adolescents with a history of institutional care, let alone its relationship with ToM skills. The present study aims to bridge this gap, focusing on moral evaluation of harmful actions in institutionalized adolescents (IAs). Relative to adolescents raised with their biological families, IAs exhibited less willingness to exculpate protagonists for accidental harms, suggesting an under-reliance on information about a person’s (innocent) intentions. Moreover, such abnormalities in IAs were associated with ToM impairments. Taken together, our findings extend previous findings of delayed ToM under social deprivation, further showing that the development of moral cognition is also vulnerable to the impact of institutionalization. These results could pave the way for novel research on the role of institutional rearing in ToM and moral development during adolescence.
RESUMEN La deprivación social en adolescentes institucionalizados (AI) podría impactar en el neurodesarrollo de la teoría de la mente (ToM) y el juicio moral. Mostramos en este estudio que los AI (en comparación con controles) presentaron un patrón de cognición moral atípica (incremento de condena moral a acciones no intencionales), asociado a alteraciones de ToM. Nuestro estudio demuestra que el desarrollo de la cognición moral es vulnerable al impacto de la institucionalización.