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ERIC Number: EJ888432
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 31
ISSN: ISSN-0272-930X
Relations between Mother-Child Talk and 3- to 5-Year-Old Children's Understanding of Belief: Beyond Mental State Terms to Talk about the Mind
Turnbull, William; Carpendale, Jeremy I. M.; Racine, Timothy P.
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Journal of Developmental Psychology, v54 n3 p367-385 Jul 2008
In relating parent-child conversation to children's social cognitive development, we examined how mother-child dyads talked about the psychological world. Seventy mothers and their 3- to 5-year-old children made up a story about a series of pictures depicting a sequence of events involving a false belief. Mother-child talk was coded for the use of mental state terms as well as talk about important aspects of the depicted events. The children were given 2 false belief tasks. When age was controlled, mental state term use was associated with children's false-belief understanding. However, when mental state terms and talk about the aspects of the false-belief component of the story were both taken into account, only talk about the false-belief section of the story accounted for significant additional variance in children's false-belief understanding. We suggest that these results encourage a broader view of talk about the psychological world beyond an exclusive focus on the use of mental state terms. (Contains 5 tables and 2 footnotes.)
Wayne State University Press. The Leonard N. Simons Building, 4809 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201-1309. Tel: 800-978-7323; Fax: 313-577-6131; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A