Developmental relationships between language and theory of mind

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Abstract

Purpose: This tutorial is intended to inform readers about the development of theory of mind (understanding of mental states) and to discuss relationships between theory of mind and language development. Method: A narrative review of selected literature on language and theory of mind is presented. Theory of mind is defined, and commonly used measures of theory of mind are described. Developmental relationships between language and theory of mind in typical and atypical populations are discussed. Literature-based suggestions for clinical assessment and intervention are provided, using a hypothetical case study. Conclusions: The article serves as an introduction to current research about language and theory of mind, and emphasizes their interdependence in development. Implications of the relationships between theory of mind and language development for language assessment and intervention are discussed, and an argument is made that taking theory of mind into account will help clinicians enhance children's communication and language development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-154
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican journal of speech-language pathology
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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