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      Concurrent associations between mothers’ references to internal states and children’s social understanding in middle childhood

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          Abstract

          Although it is well established that features of maternal speech are associated with children’s social understanding in the preschool years, few studies explore this relationship in middle childhood. Within the context of a prospective longitudinal study of a representative community sample of families (subsample n = 207, mean age = 82.88 months), we investigated concurrent associations between mothers’ internal state language and aspects of 7‐year‐olds’ social understanding, including children’s understanding of belief and spontaneous references to internal states during free play. When sociodemographic, maternal, and child characteristics were controlled, mothers’ references to their own cognitions were associated with dimensions of children’s social understanding. Our findings suggest that exposure to others’ perspectives contributes to children’s advanced understanding of minds, which has implications for interventions that foster social understanding.

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          Most cited references25

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          “John thinks that Mary thinks that…” attribution of second-order beliefs by 5- to 10-year-old children

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            Mother-child and father-child relationships in middle childhood and adolescence: A developmental analysis

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              Mother and infant talk about mental states relates to desire language and emotion understanding.

              This study assessed the relation between mother mental state language and child desire language and emotion understanding in 15-24-month-olds. At both time points, mothers described pictures to their infants and mother talk was coded for mental and nonmental state language. Children were administered 2 emotion understanding tasks and their mental and nonmental state vocabulary levels were obtained via parental report. The results demonstrated that mother use of desire language with 15-month-old children uniquely predicted a child's later mental state language and emotion task performance, even after accounting for potentially confounding variables. In addition, mothers' tendency to refer to the child's over others' desires was the more consistent correlate of mental state language and emotion understanding.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                paineal@cardiff.ac.uk
                Journal
                Soc Dev
                Soc Dev
                10.1111/(ISSN)1467-9507
                SODE
                Social Development (Oxford, England)
                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                0961-205X
                1467-9507
                24 January 2019
                August 2019
                : 28
                : 3 ( doiID: 10.1111/sode.v28.3 )
                : 529-548
                Affiliations
                [ 1 ] School of Psychology Cardiff University Cardiff United Kingdom
                [ 2 ] Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Bangor University Bangor United Kingdom
                Author notes
                [*] [* ] Correspondence

                Amy L. Paine, School of Psychology, Cardiff University, 70 Park Place, Cardiff CF10 3AT, United Kingdom.

                Email: paineal@ 123456cardiff.ac.uk

                Article
                SODE12356
                10.1111/sode.12356
                6988506
                ff252f7a-8715-45d8-ab96-647bff3ae07b
                © 2018 The Authors Social Development Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd

                This is an open access article under the terms of the http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 5, Pages: 20, Words: 17499
                Product
                Funding
                Funded by: Medical Research Council , open-funder-registry 10.13039/501100000265;
                Award ID: GO400086
                Award ID: MR/J013366/1
                Categories
                Original Article
                Original Articles
                Custom metadata
                2.0
                August 2019
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_JATSPMC version:5.7.5 mode:remove_FC converted:29.01.2020

                community sample,family relationships,internal state language,longitudinal study,social understanding

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