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Authoritarian Parenting Received from Mothers Reveals Individual Differences in Preschooler's False-belief, but not in Advanced Theory of Mind

Remarkable changes, like the progress in the ability to understand others' minds, can be identified in several socio-cognitive dimensions between age four and seven. Recently, the parenting attitudes have been considerate as one of the potential extrinsic modifiers of these important developmental aspects. The aim of present study is to explore the relationship among authoritarian parenting attitudes and individual differences in Theory of Mind performance. The study included ninety-two Costarrican preschoolers. Six False-belief tasks, an Advanced Theory of Mind test and the Parenting Attitudes Inventory were used. The results demonstrate that participants with high and low Authoritarian Parenting Received differ in their performance on First and Second Order False-belief tasks, but not in Advanced Theory of Mind tasks. Theoretical considerations about possible explanations regarding these results are discussed and methodological limitations are considered to shed light over future directions.

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