Developmental Relationships Between Language and Theory of Mind Purpose This tutorial is intended to inform readers about the development of theory of mind (understanding of mental states) and to discuss relationships between theory of mind and language development. Method A narrative review of selected literature on language and theory of mind is presented. Theory of mind ... Tutorial
Tutorial  |   May 01, 2006
Developmental Relationships Between Language and Theory of Mind
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Carol A. Miller
    The Pennsylvania State University, University Park
  • Contact author: Carol Miller, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, 110 Moore Building, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802. Email: cam47@psu.edu
Article Information
Development / Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Tutorial
Tutorial   |   May 01, 2006
Developmental Relationships Between Language and Theory of Mind
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2006, Vol. 15, 142-154. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2006/014)
History: Received July 14, 2005 , Revised December 8, 2005 , Accepted January 22, 2006
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2006, Vol. 15, 142-154. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2006/014)
History: Received July 14, 2005; Revised December 8, 2005; Accepted January 22, 2006
Web of Science® Times Cited: 49

Purpose This tutorial is intended to inform readers about the development of theory of mind (understanding of mental states) and to discuss relationships between theory of mind and language development.

Method A narrative review of selected literature on language and theory of mind is presented. Theory of mind is defined, and commonly used measures of theory of mind are described. Developmental relationships between language and theory of mind in typical and atypical populations are discussed. Literature-based suggestions for clinical assessment and intervention are provided, using a hypothetical case study.

Conclusions The article serves as an introduction to current research about language and theory of mind, and emphasizes their interdependence in development. Implications of the relationships between theory of mind and language development for language assessment and intervention are discussed, and an argument is made that taking theory of mind into account will help clinicians enhance children’s communication and language development.

Acknowledgments
Thanks to Adele Miccio and Kathryn Drager for helpful comments and discussions.
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