A Longitudinal Study of Theory of Mind and Listening Comprehension: Is preschool Theory of Mind Important?

Journal article


Jackson, Sophie, Slade, Lance, Levy, Joseph and Samantha, McCormick 2022. A Longitudinal Study of Theory of Mind and Listening Comprehension: Is preschool Theory of Mind Important? Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 329. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2022.105388
AuthorsJackson, Sophie, Slade, Lance, Levy, Joseph and Samantha, McCormick
Abstract

Theory of mind has been shown to be important for listening comprehension for children at a range of ages. However, there is a lack of longitudinal evidence for a relationship between early theory of mind and later listening comprehension. The aim of this study was to examine whether preschool theory of mind has a longitudinal direct effect on later listening comprehension over and above the effects of concurrent theory of mind. A total of 147 children were tested on measures of theory of mind, working memory, vocabulary, and grammatical knowledge at Time 1 (mean age = 4;1 [years;months]) and Time 2 (mean age = 5;11). In addition, at Time 2 listening comprehension, comprehension monitoring, and inference making measures were taken. Data were fitted to concurrent and longitudinal models of listening comprehension. Concurrent findings at Time 2 showed theory of mind to have a direct effect on listening comprehension. However, longitudinal findings showed that earlier theory of mind in preschool (Time 1) did not have a direct effect on listening comprehension 22 months later; instead, there was only an indirect effect of earlier theory of mind on later listening comprehension via concurrent theory of mind (Time 2). Taken together, the results give further support for the importance of theory of mind for listening comprehension but show that there are limited additional benefits of early theory of mind acquisition. Implications for the development of children’s listening comprehension are discussed.

KeywordsTheory of mind; Listening comprehension; Longitudinal; Preschool; Direct effect; Language comprehension
Year2022
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Journal citation329
PublisherElsevier
ISSN0022-0965
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2022.105388
Web address (URL)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0022096522000170
http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/
http://hdl.handle.net/10545/626285
hdl:10545/626285
Output statusPublished
Publication dates12 Feb 2022
Publication process dates
Deposited16 Feb 2022
Accepted21 Jan 2022
Rights

CC0 1.0 Universal

ContributorsUniversity of Roehampton, Canterbury Christ Church University, Royal Holloway University of London and University of Derby
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