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Sambandet mellan Theory of Mind, språkliga förmågor och exekutiva funktioner hos barn i treårsåldern
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
2015 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
The Relationship between Theory of Mind, Language Abilities and Executive Functions in Three Year Old Children (English)
Abstract [sv]

Barns fem första levnadsår präglas av en omfattande utveckling av språkliga förmågor och exekutiva funktioner, vilka är färdigheter som visat sig ha en stor påverkan på hur barn utvecklar förståelse för sina egna och andras tankar, det vill säga deras Theory of Mind. En central aspekt inom forskning har varit att undersöka hur förmågorna samvarierar vid olika åldrar.

Syftet i föreliggande studie var att undersöka sambandet mellan Theory of Mind, språkliga förmågor och exekutiva funktioner hos barn i tre års ålder med typisk utveckling. Av intresse var även att undersöka om det förelåg skillnader i resultat mellan pojkar och flickor samt om de del-tagande barnens demografiska förhållanden vad gäller antal äldre och/eller yngre syskon, socio-ekonomisk status och vuxenkontakt påverkade de deltagande barnens Theory of Mind.

Totalt medverkade 30 barn med typisk utveckling, varav 16 var flickor och 14 var pojkar. Åldersanpassade testmaterial användes för att undersöka Theory of Mind, grammatisk förmåga, semantisk förmåga, kognitiv flexibilitet, arbetsminne och fonemdiskrimination. Den demografiska informationen inhämtades i form av en enkät som föräldrarna fick fylla i.

Resultatet indikerar att treåriga barns förmåga att hantera och förstå Theory of Mind-uppgifter samvarierar med både grammatisk förmåga och kognitiv flexibilitet. Samvariationer påträffades även mellan grammatisk förmåga och kognitiv flexibilitet, vilket stärker att språk, exe-kutiva funktioner och ToM har ett beroendeförhållande till varandra.

Föreliggande studie framhåller att samtliga förmågor är mer eller mindre integrerade vid olika åldrar och korrelationerna visar på att vissa delförmågor inom språk, ToM och exekutiva funktioner går hand i hand och utvecklas i samspel med varandra. Specifikt kan den exekutiva komponenten kognitiv flexibilitet och den språkliga förmågan grammatik ses som viktiga förmågor för just treåriga barns ToM.

 

Abstract [en]

A childs’ first five years are characterized by an extensive development of language abilities and executive functions. These are skills that have demonstrated large impact on how children develop their understanding of their own and others’ thoughts, that is, their Theory of Mind. Within contemporary research, a central question has been to investigate how these abilities correlate at different stages of age. 

The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between Theory of Mind, language and executive functions in typically developed three-year-old children. A central part in this study was also to assess whether differences in performance between boys and girls occurred and also if the number of younger and/or older siblings, socioeconomic status, and adult contact did affect the children’s performance. 

A total of 30 children with typical development participated, of whom 16 were girls and 14 were boys. Age-appropriate test materials were used to examine, Theory of Mind, grammatical ability, semantic ability, cognitive flexibility, working memory, and phonetic discrimination. The demographic information was based on a questionnaire that parents of the participating children had to answer. 

The result of this study indicates that the three-year child's ability to manage and understand tasks that assess Theory of mind seems to covariate with both grammatical skills and cognitive flexibility. A Correlation was also found between grammatical skills and cognitive flexibility, which indicate that language ability, executive functions and ToM have a strong dependent relationship. 

The present study confirms that all abilities are more or less integrated at different ages and the correlations indicate that certain abilities in language, ToM and executive functions are de-veloped in interaction with each other. Specifically, the executive component cognitive flexibility and the grammatical ability are important abilities for three-year children’s ToM.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 42 p.
Keyword [en]
Language, Theory of Mind, executive functions, Theory of Mind Scale, KUBEN, three-year-olds
Keyword [sv]
Språk, Theory of Mind, exekutiva funktioner, Theory of Mind Scale, KUBEN, treåringar
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-118527OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-118527DiVA: diva2:815346
Subject / course
Master (one year thesis)/Speech and Language Pathology
Presentation
2015-05-25, 09:00 (Swedish)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2015-06-03 Created: 2015-05-29 Last updated: 2015-06-03Bibliographically approved

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