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Theory of Mind and Executive Functions in Young Bilingual Children

Journal article
Authors Sven-Olof Dahlgren
Helena Almén
Annika Dahlgren Sandberg
Published in Journal of Genetic Psychology
Volume 178
Issue 5
Pages 303-307
ISSN 0022-1325
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 303-307
Language en
Keywords Bilingual, children, executive functions, theory of mind
Subject categories Psychology


Few studies have explored the relationship between theory of mind (ToM), executive function (EF), and bilingualism at the same time. In this study 14 young bilingual children were compared with monolingual children on a test battery composed of 5 ToM tests, 5 EF tests, and 1 test of general language ability. The result showed that despite significantly lower verbal ability, the bilingual children outperformed the monolingual ones on tests of EF. There were no differences in ToM performance. The authors argue that there is a strong relationship between bilingualism and EF, but, contrary to results from earlier studies, they could not find any relationship between bilingualism and ToM. EF did not predict ToM performance. Lack of a significant relationship could be due to the children's young age and consequently their low scores on the ToM tasks.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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