Emotion regulation and executive functioning as predictors of theory of mind competence during early childhood.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Parita P. Vithlani (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Susan Calkins

Abstract: The linkage between emotion regulation (ER) skills and executive functioning (EF) abilities as predictors of theory of mind skills (ToM) was examined. 263 3.5-year-old children that participated in an on-going longitudinal study were administered various executive function, emotion regulation, and theory of mind tasks; maternal reports of emotion regulation abilities were also obtained. It was predicted that children who score higher on ER measures will better be able to perform on EF tasks and in turn have a superior ToM ability; superior EF skills would mediate the relation between ER skills and ToM abilities. Results showed no relationship between ER, EF, and ToM after controlling for demographic variables such as maternal education, race, language, gender, and maternal marital status; the mediation hypothesis was not supported. But associations between some EF tasks and ToM tasks were found. Results are discussed in terms of limitations and possible implications for supporting the development of cognitive, regulatory, and social skills in young children.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2010
Emotion Regulation, Executive Function, Preschool, Social Cognition, Theory of Mind
Emotions in children.
Cognition in children.
Executive ability in children.
Child psychology.
Child development.

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