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The Development of Cognitive Perspective-Taking in Adolescents and Behaviors with Parents


A research study done in The Netherlands in 2015 looked at the development of cognitive perspective-taking among adolescents and how it affected their behaviors with parents. Having the capacity to see the parent’s perspective was associated with more constructive problem-solving behaviors.

Perspective-taking is an abstract reasoning skill that children begin to develop around the age of twelve. It continues to develop through the adolescent years. Parents would be wise to take advantage of the natural neurobiology of child growth and give their children opportunities to engage in problem solving and perspective taking.

Interestingly, perspective-taking was also associated with a decrease in the withdrawal from conflicts. Withdrawal is where a child or adolescent refuses to engage in the conflict. It has been associated with greater incidence of depression, anxiety and delinquency.

Therefore, parents, teachers, and caregivers should allow young teens greater opportunities to use their budding cognitive abilities in order to learn conflict resolution skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.

The citation for the original article, published in the Journal of Adolescence is below:

Van Lissa, C. J., Hawk, S. T., Branje, S., Koot, H. M., & Meeus, W. H. (2016). Common and unique associations of adolescents' affective and cognitive empathy development with conflict behavior towards parents. Journal of adolescence, 47, 60-70.

Please use the following link to be connected to the original study abstract.

To make an appointment call us at:
Tomball Office:      281-290-8188
South Loop Office: 713-808-9781
Bryan Office:          979-383-2074
Lufkin Office:         936-229-3621