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Explaining the relation between early mind-mindedness and children’s mentalizing abilities: The development of an observational preschool assessment

Fishburn, S. and Meins, E. and Fernyhough, C. and Centifanti, L. C. M. and Larkin, F. (2021) 'Explaining the relation between early mind-mindedness and children’s mentalizing abilities: The development of an observational preschool assessment.', Developmental psychology. .

Abstract

The aim of this research was to develop a new observation-based measure for assessing caregivers’ mind-mindedness in the preschool years and investigate whether this measure could explain the link between mothers’ early appropriate mind-related comments and children’s later mentalizing abilities. The new measure was developed using a sample of mothers and 44-month-olds (N=171), characterizing mind-mindedness in terms of (a) solicited child involvement, (b) adaptive communication, and (c) internal state talk. These indices were positively related to established assessments of mind-mindedness at 8, 44, and 61 months. Positive associations were also observed with children’s later mentalizing abilities. The new measure of mind-mindedness did not, however, mediate the relation between mind-mindedness in the first year of life and children’s mentalizing abilities.

Item Type:Article
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/dev/index
Publisher statement:© American Psychological Association, 2021. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission.
Date accepted:10 August 2021
Date deposited:10 September 2021
Date of first online publication:2021
Date first made open access:10 September 2021

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