Affective Qualities of Sibling Disputes, Mothers' Conflict Attitudes, and Children's Theory of Mind Development

Randell, Angela C. and Peterson, Candida C. (2009) Affective Qualities of Sibling Disputes, Mothers' Conflict Attitudes, and Children's Theory of Mind Development. Social Development, 18 4: 857-874. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9507.2008.00513.x


Author Randell, Angela C.
Peterson, Candida C.
Title Affective Qualities of Sibling Disputes, Mothers' Conflict Attitudes, and Children's Theory of Mind Development
Journal name Social Development   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0961-205X
Publication date 2009-11-01
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9507.2008.00513.x
Volume 18
Issue 4
Start page 857
End page 874
Total pages 18
Editor Christine Howe
Elizabeth A Lemerise
Robert Coplan
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject C1
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
97 Expanding Knowledge
Abstract Preschoolers' theory of mind (ToM) was examined in relation to emotional features of their conflicts with siblings, using mothers as privileged informants. Fifty-four children aged 3 to 5 years and their 54 mothers took part. Children were given 10 standard false belief tasks and a standardized language test. Mothers completed questionnaires, rated vignettes, and kept a conflict diary to provide detailed data on siblings' conflicts, mothers' conflict attitudes, and mothers' use of mental state language to talk about children's disputes. Results revealed that children's ToM scores were significantly correlated with affective dimensions of their sibling disputes, including more frequent expression of positive emotion while disagreeing and less post-conflict distress. Logistic regression showed these associations were independent of age and verbal ability. Mothers' conflict attitudes were significantly correlated with the affective outcome of their children's disputes but not with the preschooler's level of ToM understanding. Findings are discussed in relation to possible reciprocal influences between ToM development and the growth of affectively positive and constructive conflict resolution skills.
Keyword theory of mind
conflict
siblings
mental-state language
false-belief
individual-differences
mental states
language
conversations
family
1ST
opposition
knowledge
emotions
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Additional Notes Article first published online 6th January, 2009. Not published in print until November, 2009.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Psychology Publications
 
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Created: Tue, 06 Apr 2010, 19:13:02 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Psychology