Verbanden tussen gedeelde aandacht, woordenschat en Theory of Mind bij 3-5-jarige kinderen in Nederland
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The concept of Theory of Mind (ToM) in young children is associated with various positive social outcomes in later life. Additionally, deficits in ToM can indicate problems in socio-cognitive development. In the development of ToM in young children, concepts that are considered important are shared attention and vocabulary. The aim of this study was to further clarify the underlying mechanisms in young children's ToM development. To achieve this, we examined the relationships between shared attention, vocabulary, and ToM. The central research question was: 'What is the relationship between shared attention and Theory of Mind in Dutch children aged three to five years, and is this relationship mediated by vocabulary?' The participants in this study were 81 children between 25 and 59 months old. Shared attention was measured using the Early Sociocognitive Battery (ESB; Roy & Chiat, 2019), vocabulary was assessed using the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Task (PPVT-III-NL; Schlichting, 2005), and ToM was measured using the Theory of Mind Scale (ToM Scale; Wellman & Liu, 2004). A mediation analysis was conducted to answer the research question. No significant relationships were found between shared attention and vocabulary, as well as between shared attention and ToM. However, a significant relationship was observed between vocabulary and ToM. These results have implications for further research on other processes that may be involved in the relationship between vocabulary and ToM, such as the role of executive functions.