Mindreading and moral awareness in popular and rejected preschoolers

Peterson, CC and Siegal, M (2002) Mindreading and moral awareness in popular and rejected preschoolers. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 20 1: 205-224. doi:10.1348/026151002166415

Author Peterson, CC
Siegal, M
Title Mindreading and moral awareness in popular and rejected preschoolers
Journal name British Journal of Developmental Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0261-510X
Publication date 2002-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1348/026151002166415
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 20
Issue 1
Start page 205
End page 224
Total pages 20
Editor G. Bremner
Place of publication UK
Publisher The British Psychological Society
Language eng
Subject C1
380106 Developmental Psychology and Ageing
780108 Behavioural and cognitive sciences
Abstract This study sought to examine links among young children's peer relations, their moral understanding in terms of the ability to distinguish lies from mistakes, and their theory-of-mind development. Based on sociometric measures, 109 children with a mean age of 4.8 years were divided into groups of popular and rejected preschoolers. Rejected children who had a stable mutual friend scored higher on measures of moral understanding and theory of mind than did rejected children without such friendships. Similarly, popular children who had a stable mutual friendship outperformed other popular children on mindreading, although their moral understanding was no better than that of the popular group who lacked mutual friends. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that peer popularity was a significant independent predictor of children's moral understanding after any effects of verbal maturity, age and theory-of-mind were statistically controlled. Moreover, having a reciprocal stable friendship made a significant independent contribution to the explanation of individual differences in mindreading, over and above age and verbal maturity, which also contributed significantly. These results are discussed in terms of conversational, cognitive, and emotional processes in the development of social cognition.
Keyword Psychology, Developmental
Young Childrens Conception
Contamination Sensitivity
False Beliefs
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 01:41:40 EST