Social interaction skills and theory of mind in young children.

A. C. Watson, C. L. Nixon, A. Wilson, L. Capage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

233 Scopus citations


Two studies explored relations between peer social skills and theory of mind in young children. In Study 1, a global teacher rating of social skills with peers, performance on a traditional false-belief task, a standardized assessment of auditory language comprehension, and a time sampling of amount of speech with peers were obtained. Positive, but moderate, zero-order correlations were observed between the false-belief measure and social skills, and false belief accounted for a significant amount of additional variance in social skills after covarying age and the 2 measures of language. Study 2 replicated the findings of Study 1 by using a larger sample and a standardized teacher questionnaire. The results are discussed with regard to the critical role of a mentalistic theory of behavior for human social interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)386-391
Number of pages6
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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