Maternal and Paternal Mental-state Talk and Executive Function in Preschool Children.

Journal Name
Social Development
Journal Volume
Journal Issue
Page Count
Year Published
Author (Individual)
Baptista, Joana.
Osório, Ana.
Martins, Eva Costa.
Castiajo, Paula.
Barreto, Ana Luísa.
Mateus, Vera.
Soares, Isabel.
Martins, Carla.
Resource Type
Journal Article
Resource Format
The present study examined the relationship between parents’ mental-state talk and preschoolers’ executive function. Seventy-two children participated in the present study, as well as their mothers and fathers. When children were enrolled in the second preschool year, mothers’ and fathers’ use of mental-state references were assessed during a shared picture-book reading task with the child. Later, four months before admission to the first grade, preschoolers’ executive function was measured. Hierarchical regression analysis revealed that maternal, but not paternal, mental-state talk was a significant predictor of children’s executive function composite, even after accounting for child gender, age, verbal ability, and parental education. When looking at each of the EF components, maternal mental-state talk proved to be a predictor of set-shifting whereas no significant relations emerged with inhibitory control or working memory. These findings add to prior research on parenting quality and executive function in preschoolers. (Author abstract)

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