Mental state language during conversations about the past was assessed in a shortterm longitudinal study. Twenty-one mother-child dyads discussed several previously experienced events when the children were 30 and 42 months old. Over time, children’s mental term use—although quite low—did increase, and both mothers and children talked more about the process of remembering in their references to mental states. Neither mothers’ nor children’s mental term use correlated with measures of the children’s verbal abilities. Only the children’s and not mothers’ early use of mental terms uniquely predicted children’s later mental term use. Associations were also found between children’s mental term use during reminiscing and their deliberate remembering of objects in a strategic memory task performed at 42 months.
Rudek, David J. and Haden, Catherine A.
"Mothers’ and Preschoolers’ Mental State
Language During Reminiscing Over Time,"
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Vol. 51
, Article 7.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/mpq/vol51/iss4/7