Opening windows into the mind: mothers' preferences for mental state explanations and children's theory of mind

Peterson, C and Slaughter, V (2003) Opening windows into the mind: mothers' preferences for mental state explanations and children's theory of mind. Cognitive Development, 18 3: 399-429. doi:10.1016/S0885-2014(03)00041-8


Author Peterson, C
Slaughter, V
Title Opening windows into the mind: mothers' preferences for mental state explanations and children's theory of mind
Journal name Cognitive Development   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0885-2014
Publication date 2003-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/S0885-2014(03)00041-8
Volume 18
Issue 3
Start page 399
End page 429
Total pages 31
Editor P. Bryant
Place of publication UK
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Subject C1
380106 Developmental Psychology and Ageing
740100 Early Childhood and Primary Education
Abstract A new questionnaire, the Maternal Mental State Input Inventory (MMSII) was created to measure mothers' preferences for introducing and elaborating on mental states in conversation with their young children. In two studies, the questionnaire was given to mothers of young children, and the children's theory of mind (ToM) development was assessed with standard tasks. In both studies, the questionnaire exhibited good internal reliability, and significant correlations emerged between mothers' self-reported preferences for elaborated, explanatory talk about the mental states and children's theory of mind performance. Further, mothers' conversational preferences, as measured by the MMSII, were the best predictors of children's theory of mind development when relevant control variables were included in the analyses. These results converge with naturalistic observational research that has demonstrated links between mothers' conversational styles and their children's theory of mind. They go further in suggesting that mothers' tendencies toward elaborated, explanatory talk about a range of mental states is particularly beneficial to children's theory of mind development. (C) 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Keyword Psychology, Developmental
Psychology, Experimental
Maternal Mental State Input Inventory
Mothers
Children
Theory Of Mind
Individual-differences
False Belief
Language
Siblings
Emotions
Autism
Blind
Talk
1st
Q-Index Code C1

 
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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 11:47:00 EST