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ERIC Number: EJ860900
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9924
Language and Theory of Mind in Preschool Children with Specific Language Impairment
Farrar, M. Jeffrey; Johnson, Bonnie; Tompkins, Virginia; Easters, Molly; Zilisi-Medus, Andrea; Benigno, Joann P.
Journal of Communication Disorders, v42 n6 p428-441 Nov-Dec 2009
Language plays a critical role in the development of theory of mind (ToM). There is limited research, however, examining the role of specific components of language in ToM development for typical and clinical populations. The purpose of the current study is to examine the relative contributions of general grammar, grammatical tense markers, syntactic complementation, and receptive vocabulary on understanding standard ToM tasks in preschool children with specific language impairment (SLI). Thirty-four children with language disorders, ages 42-65 months, were administered a series of language and ToM measures. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to examine the relative contributions of language subcomponents to ToM task performance. The results indicated that general grammatical development and vocabulary contributed uniquely to ToM reasoning. Sentential complementation abilities did not make an independent contribution. Theoretical and clinical implications of the findings for different accounts of the role of language in ToM reasoning will be discussed. Learning outcomes: Readers of the current study will be able to: (1) understand the relationship between language and ToM development in both typical and clinical populations; (2) understand the different ways in which various language components are related to false belief reasoning; and (3) consider the implications for intervening with children with language disorders. (Contains 5 tables.)
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A