Back to Page Authors: Joanna Smogorzewska, Grzegorz Szumski

Keywords: parenting styles, theory of mind, children with disabilities, children without disabilities

Abstract: Results of studies on the relationship between parental behaviours and development of children’s theory of mind, although ambiguous, in most cases show that authoritative behaviours of parents of children without disabilities support development of other people understanding among these children, and authoritarian and neglecting behaviours influence the development of theory of mind negatively. However, data about this kind of relationship among children with disabilities is missing. In the current analysis, therefore, we decided to check the mentioned relationships not only among children without disabilities (N = 250) but also among children with mild intellectual disability (N = 259) and with hearing impairment (N = 271), about whom it is known that they have not only extraordinary needs but also difficulties with theory of mind development. To observe mentioned relationships, we have prepared a longitudinal regression analysis, checking importance of parental behaviours for theory of mind development among children in a school-age (age of children during the first measurement time: M = 7;7 (SD = 0.93)) during two years time. The analyses we provided have shown, that in all groups the relationship was similar and indicated that first of all behaviours with a lower level of authoritativeness or higher level of neglecting behaviours strongly negatively impact the development of theory of mind.