본문 바로가기
  • Home

The Relationship between Theory of Mind and Social Competence in Preschool Children

  • THE KOREAN JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
  • 2008, 21(3), pp.21-39
  • Publisher : The Korean Society For Developmental Psychology
  • Research Area : Social Science > Psychological Science

김경미 1 Ghim, Hei-rhee 1 Myung-Sook Chung 2 Haeyoung Yang 1 Jaisun Koo 3

1충북대학교
2꽃동네대학교
3중앙대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study examined the relationship between theory of mind and social competence in preschool children. Children were tested on two kinds of mind understanding tasks: mind-reading and emotion-reading, and teachers were asked to rate Matson Evaluation of Social Skills with Youngsters, Index of Empathy for Children and Adolescents, and a Measure of Aggression and Prosocial behaviors. Mind-reading tasks assessed the ability to interpret others' behaviors by reading their mental states, and emotion-reading tasks assessed the ability to read others' emotional states through their facial expressions. Participants were 48 five-year old children. The result showed that mind-reading was significantly related to social skill score. The empathy score was significantly related to the scores of social skill, inappropriate assertiveness, aggression and prosocial behaviors. For the girls, mind-reading predicted social skill score along with empathy. However, mind-reading predicted none of social behaviors for the boys. Empathy scores were the best predictor of social skill, inappropriate assertiveness, aggression, and prosocial behaviors for both. Finally, boys and girls did not differ in their scores on mind-understanding tasks. It was discussed that there is difference between children's theory of mind and the way how they employ their ToM in the social world, and the relationship between theory of mind and social competence is complex.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.