Mother–Child Interaction as a Cradle of Theory of Mind: The Role of Maternal Emotional Availability

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Abstract

The present longitudinal study investigated the relative importance of emotional availability (EA) in 56 mother–child dyads when the child was 7 months and four-year old as predictors of child's Theory of Mind at 4 years while controlling for early maternal mind-mindedness (MM). Dyadic EA at 7 months predicted the child's Theory of Mind, even when controlling for child temperamental and cognitive characteristics as well as dyadic EA at 4 years and early maternal MM. Results indicate the specific importance of high emotional connectedness between mothers and infants for preschoolers' Theory of Mind development.

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