The authors wish to thank all of the children, families, and teachers for their generous support and participation in this study. We wish to particularly acknowledge the assistance received from the participants’ teachers (Fleur Aris, Susan Bamblett, Chris Blamey, Emily Bradshaw, Sarah Bye, Karen Colkin, Julie Cummings, Martine Damon, Pamela Dow, Lesley Edelman, Julie Excell, Linda Goss, Michelle Green, Terri Hale, Martija Jukic, Jill Mitchell, Suzie Morrison, Christine Onley, Judith Rangihaeata, Deb Scarterfield, Jenny Smith, Lucy Stewart, Christine Tarnowy, Carolyn Vuletic, Jenny Whiting, Michelle Willis, Megan Wilson, and Veni Zeid). This research was supported by a University of Western Australia Hackett postgraduate scholarship and a University of Western Australia completion scholarship to the first author. We thank the anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on earlier versions of this article.
Language, Cognitive Flexibility, and Explicit False Belief Understanding: Longitudinal Analysis in Typical Development and Specific Language Impairment
Version of Record online: 21 DEC 2011
© 2011 The Authors. Child Development © 2011 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 83, Issue 1, pages 223–235, January/February 2012
How to Cite
Farrant, B. M., Maybery, M. T. and Fletcher, J. (2012), Language, Cognitive Flexibility, and Explicit False Belief Understanding: Longitudinal Analysis in Typical Development and Specific Language Impairment. Child Development, 83: 223–235. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01681.x
- Issue online: 25 JAN 2012
- Version of Record online: 21 DEC 2011
The hypothesis that language plays a role in theory-of-mind (ToM) development is supported by a number of lines of evidence (e.g., H. Lohmann & M. Tomasello, 2003). The current study sought to further investigate the relations between maternal language input, memory for false sentential complements, cognitive flexibility, and the development of explicit false belief understanding in 91 English-speaking typically developing children (M age = 61.3 months) and 30 children with specific language impairment (M age = 63.0 months). Concurrent and longitudinal findings converge in supporting a model in which maternal language input predicts the child’s memory for false complements, which predicts cognitive flexibility, which in turn predicts explicit false belief understanding.