Contextual effects and early theory of mind skill development

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Erik D. Nelson (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Susan Calkins

Abstract: This study examines the impact of maternal use of mental state language and maternal report of emotional expressivity in the family during a critical age in theory of mind development. Participants included 263 3.5 year-old children whose theory of mind skills and verbal abilities were assessed; mothers reported on their emotion socialization practices and mothers and children were observed during parent-child interaction tasks. Positive associations between emotional expressivity in the family, maternal use of mental state language and general theory of mind development were hypothesized. No relation was found between mental state language use or expressed emotion in terms of predicting theory of mind development at any level. Results are discussed in terms of implications for theory of mind research.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2009
Conceptual perspective taking, Emotional expressivity, False belief, Theory of Mind
Emotions $x Children $x Environmental aspects.
Emotions $x Children $x Social aspects.
Mother and child.
Philosophy of mind in children.
Child psychology.

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