We sincerely thank the scholars who took time from their busy schedules to respond to our requests for information to include in this meta-analysis. We also thank Hilal Sen Harma and three anonymous reviewers for comments on earlier versions.
Meta-Analysis of Theory of Mind and Peer Popularity in the Preschool and Early School Years
Version of Record online: 15 APR 2015
© 2015 The Authors. Child Development © 2015 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 86, Issue 4, pages 1159–1174, July/August 2015
How to Cite
Slaughter, V., Imuta, K., Peterson, C. C. and Henry, J. D. (2015), Meta-Analysis of Theory of Mind and Peer Popularity in the Preschool and Early School Years. Child Development, 86: 1159–1174. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12372
- Issue online: 17 JUL 2015
- Version of Record online: 15 APR 2015
It has been argued that children who possess an advanced theory of mind (ToM) are viewed positively by their peers, but the empirical findings are mixed. This meta-analysis of 20 studies including 2,096 children (aged from 2 years, 8 months to 10 years) revealed a significant overall association (r = .19) indicating that children with higher ToM scores were also more popular in their peer group. The effect did not vary with age. The effect was weaker for boys (r = .12) compared to girls (r = .30). ToM was more strongly associated with popularity (r = .23) than with rejection (r = .13). These findings confirm that ToM development has significant implications for children's peer relationships.