This study adds to the growing research on school outcomes associated with individual differences in preschoolers' theory of mind skills by considering whether "costs" of theory of mind (e.g., sensitivity to criticism) actually help to foster children's academic achievement. A group of 60 Italian children was tested during the last year of preschool (Time 1, mean age=5years 6months) and in their first year (Time 2, mean age=6years 5months) and second year (Time 3, mean age=7years 5months) of primary school. Children's theory of mind, verbal ability, and social skills were evaluated at each time point. In addition, children's sensitivity to teacher criticism was assessed at Time 2 and teachers' ratings of children's academic achievement were gathered at Time 3. Mediation analyses showed that, independent of verbal ability and social skills, sensitivity to criticism at Time 2 mediated the association between theory of mind at Time 1 and academic achievement at Time 3. These findings highlight the importance of investigating the educational consequences of individual differences in preschoolers' theory of mind.

Does Sensitivity to Criticism Mediate the Relationship Between Theory of Mind and Academic Competence?

LECCE, SERENA;
2011-01-01

Abstract

This study adds to the growing research on school outcomes associated with individual differences in preschoolers' theory of mind skills by considering whether "costs" of theory of mind (e.g., sensitivity to criticism) actually help to foster children's academic achievement. A group of 60 Italian children was tested during the last year of preschool (Time 1, mean age=5years 6months) and in their first year (Time 2, mean age=6years 5months) and second year (Time 3, mean age=7years 5months) of primary school. Children's theory of mind, verbal ability, and social skills were evaluated at each time point. In addition, children's sensitivity to teacher criticism was assessed at Time 2 and teachers' ratings of children's academic achievement were gathered at Time 3. Mediation analyses showed that, independent of verbal ability and social skills, sensitivity to criticism at Time 2 mediated the association between theory of mind at Time 1 and academic achievement at Time 3. These findings highlight the importance of investigating the educational consequences of individual differences in preschoolers' theory of mind.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/330328
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