Does parental mind-mindedness account for cross-cultural differences in preschoolers' theory of mind?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Cambridge
  • The Education University of Hong Kong


This study of 241 parent-child dyads from the United Kingdom (N = 120, Mage = 3.92, SD = 0.53) and Hong Kong (N = 121, Mage = 3.99, SD = 0.50) breaks new ground by adopting a cross-cultural approach to investigate children's theory of mind and parental mind-mindedness. Relative to the Hong Kong sample, U.K. children showed superior theory-of-mind performance and U.K. parents showed greater levels of mind-mindedness. Within both cultures parental mind-mindedness was correlated with theory of mind. Mind-mindedness also accounted for cultural differences in preschoolers' theory of mind. We argue that children's family environments might shed light on how culture shapes children's theory of mind.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1296-1310
Number of pages15
JournalChild Development
Issue number4
Early online date3 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018