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Title: Interrelationships in children's socio-cognitive development : the case of false-belief understanding
Author: Demetriou, D.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2009
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Even though there are numerous articles and book chapters regarding children’s Theory of Mind (ToM) development very few of them address the specific issue both longitudinally and comprehensively. The study explored the extent to which a number of cognitive (representational thinking, inhibition control, working memory, language) and metacognitive skills (source memory) relate to 4- and 5-year old children’s success in classic first order false-belief tasks. The directionality of the relationships between the cognitive and metacognitive skills assessed and false-belief understanding over time was addressed by means of a number of longitudinal regressions. A qualitative analysis of children’s responses in the justification questions of the false-belief tasks was conducted to investigate whether this would further inform our understanding of their socio-cognitive development. The present study followed an exploratory repeated-measures design. Fifty-four children were tested on the same set of tasks three times with a six month interval between each test point. Each of the skills under investigation was assessed by two tasks of slightly different difficulty to obtain a more stable account of children’s performance. Verbal and non-verbal IQ was assessed at the second test point to be used as a control variable, and the CHILD 3-5 checklist was completed by the children’s teachers at the third test point to be used as a more broad measure of children’s self-regulation and metacognitive skills. A bidirectional relationship was found between false-belief understanding and language, working memory and source memory as well as a unidirectional relationship running from inhibition control to ToM.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available