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dc.contributor.advisorTaumoepeau, Mele
dc.contributor.authorSadeghi, Sanam
dc.identifier.citationSadeghi, S. (2017). Social and Cognitive Factors Associated with Iranian Children’s Social Understanding (Thesis, Master of Science). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractThere is evidence that within western cultures, developments in cognitive factors, notably executive functions, as well as social factors such as mother-child interaction, all support the acquisition of social understanding. Less is known however, about the specific relation between these factors and children’s theory-of-mind development in cultures other than Euro/American. In the current study we examined the effect of maternal language and executive functioning on the development of theory of mind within Iranian culture. A sample of 60 children (M = 56.3 months) and their mothers were recruited via three different daycare centers in Tehran, Iran. Mother language (content, speech act, form, and referents) was assessed in a short picture-describing task with their children. Children’s language ability was measured with the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT). Their social understanding was measured with a theory-of-mind scale and executive function was assessed using two different stroop tasks. The results demonstrated that mother use of total mental state utterances, links that referred to mental states, and references to others significantly correlated with children’s social understanding. The results also revealed a significant relationship between executive functioning and social understanding. In addition, maternal mental state talk contributed to unique variance in the development of social understanding over and above the effects of executive functions. Among different types of mother utterances, utterances that referred to mental states and which were also linked to the child’s experience uniquely predicted a child’s social understanding even after accounting for potentially confounding variables. Results are discussed within the social constructivist view.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
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dc.subjectTheory of mind, social understanding, culture, language, mental state language, open-ended questions, elaborative past event talk, executive function.
dc.titleSocial and Cognitive Factors Associated with Iranian Children’s Social Understanding
dc.language.rfc3066en of Science of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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