Executive function and theory of mind: Stability and prediction from ages 2 to 3

Stephanie M. Carlson, Dorothy J. Mandell, Luke Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

401 Scopus citations

Abstract

Several studies have demonstrated a relation between executive functioning (EF) and theory of mind (ToM) in preschoolers, yet the developmental course of this relation remains unknown. Longitudinal stability and EF-ToM relations were examined in 81 children at 24 and 39 months. At Time 1, EF was unrelated to behavioral measures of ToM but was significantly related to parent report of children's internal-state language, independent of vocabulary size. At Time 2, behavioral batteries of EF and ToM were significantly related (r = .50, p < .01). Furthermore, EF (Time 1) significantly predicted. ToM (Time 2), independent of several controls. A reciprocal relation (internal-state language → EF at Time 2) was nonsignificant with the controls included. Individual differences in EF were relatively stable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1105-1122
Number of pages18
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Volume40
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

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