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Developing theory of mind abilities in Swedish pre-schoolers
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. (Infant and Child Lab)
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. (Infant and Child Lab)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1896-8250
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. (Infant and Child Lab)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8738-979X
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. (Infant and Child Lab)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5025-9975
2018 (English)In: Infant and Child Development, ISSN 1522-7227, E-ISSN 1522-7219, Vol. 27, no 4, article id e2090Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study explored the development of theory of mind (ToM) in 80 Swedish-speaking 3- to 5-year-olds, a previously unstudied language and culture. The ToM scale was translated and tested in a Swedish context. The results show that the ToM abilities improve significantly with age. In addition, a gender difference was observed for the whole sample, girls outperformed boys, but follow-up analyses revealed that the difference only remained significant for the 4-year-olds. No gender differences were observed at 3 and 5years of age. When conducting a scalability analysis, the overall Wellman and Liu scale showed less than acceptable scalability. However, when removing the last task of the scale (Real-Apparent Emotion), the fit and scalability was good. The reason for this divergent result is discussed in terms of cultural differences, such as parental and pedagogical practices in Sweden, which might especially focus on developing childrens socio-emotional understanding. Highlights Is the theory of mind (ToM) scale a feasible method to assess preschool-aged children in a Swedish context? The scale shows significant development from 3 to 5 years of age. To achieve a good scalability, the final task of the scale was removed. The scale measures ToM abilities developing in preschoolers. Cultural differences, such as parental and pedagogical practices, may alter the developmental trajectory of ToM abilities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
WILEY , 2018. Vol. 27, no 4, article id e2090
Keywords [en]
cultural; context; development; theory of mind
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-150273DOI: 10.1002/icd.2090ISI: 000440923300007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-150273DiVA, id: diva2:1239714
Note

Funding Agencies|Forskningsradet om Halsa, Arbetsliv och Valfard [2008-0875]; Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare [2008-0875]

Available from: 2018-08-17 Created: 2018-08-17 Last updated: 2018-08-17

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Sundqvist, AnettHolmer, EmilKoch, Felix-SebastianHeimann, Mikael
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