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ERIC Number: EJ871382
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 76
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
A New Look at Children's Understanding of Mind and Emotion: The Case of Prayer
Bamford, Christi; Lagattuta, Kristin Hansen
Developmental Psychology, v46 n1 p78-92 Jan 2010
Multiple methods were used to examine children's awareness of connections between emotion and prayer. Four-, 6-, and 8-year-olds and adults (N = 100) predicted whether people would pray when feeling different emotions, explained why characters in different situations decided to pray, and predicted whether characters' emotions would change after praying. Four- and 6-year-olds exclusively judged that positive emotions motivate prayer, whereas 8-year-olds and adults most often predicted that negative emotions would cause people to pray and that praying could improve emotions. There was also a significant increase between 4 and 8 years in explaining prayer as motivated by need for assistance, for thanksgiving, and for conversation, as well as for explaining postprayer emotions in relation to God or prayer. Religious background predicted individual differences in reasoning only for 4-year-olds. (Contains 2 tables and 5 figures.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A