That's what researchers from the University of Western Australia found in a new longitudinal study published in the journal Child Development.
"Parents who frequently put themselves in someone else's shoes in conversations with their children make it more likely that their children will be able to do the same," according to Brad Farrant, postdoctoral fellow at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research at the University of Western Australia, the study's lead author.
To learn more about how we develop the ability to take another's perspective, researchers looked at the influence of the way parents interact with and talk to their children. The two-year study involved more than 120 Australian children between the ages of 4 and 6 at the start of the study, both youngsters with typically developing language and those who were delayed in their acquisition of language. The participants were part of a larger ongoing longitudinal research project.
The children completed tasks designed to assess their language skills, their ability to infer others' beliefs and use these to predict others' behavior, and their ability to flexibly shift between different perspectives. Mothers also reported on the types of language they used with their children.
Among children with typically developing language, the researchers found that moms who talked more often and in greater detail about people's thoughts and feelings—commenting on how another person might react to a particular situation as well as their own feelings about the topic at hand—had children with better language skills and better perspective-taking skills. This suggests that mothers' use of this type of language influences their children's language ability and cognitive flexibility, which in turn appears to influence their development of theory of mind, a key component in learning to take another's perspective.
Children with delayed language acquisition were delayed in their development of perspective-taking skills—though this wasn't necessarily due to moms' use of language. This highlights the role played by language as children develop the ability to take another's perspective.
"Solving the many challenges that the world faces today requires us all to get better at taking the perspective of other people," according to Farrant.
The study was supported by a University of Western Australia Hackett scholarship and a University of Western Australia completion scholarship.
Sarah Hutcheon | EurekAlert!
ECG procedure indicates whether an implantable defibrillator will extend a patient's life
02.09.2019 | Technische Universität München
Fracking prompts global spike in atmospheric methane
14.08.2019 | European Geosciences Union
Researchers have succeeded in creating an efficient quantum-mechanical light-matter interface using a microscopic cavity. Within this cavity, a single photon is emitted and absorbed up to 10 times by an artificial atom. This opens up new prospects for quantum technology, report physicists at the University of Basel and Ruhr-University Bochum in the journal Nature.
Quantum physics describes photons as light particles. Achieving an interaction between a single photon and a single atom is a huge challenge due to the tiny...
A very special kind of light is emitted by tungsten diselenide layers. The reason for this has been unclear. Now an explanation has been found at TU Wien (Vienna)
It is an exotic phenomenon that nobody was able to explain for years: when energy is supplied to a thin layer of the material tungsten diselenide, it begins to...
Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have explored the initial consequences of the interaction of light with molecules on the surface of nanoscopic aerosols.
The nanocosmos is constantly in motion. All natural processes are ultimately determined by the interplay between radiation and matter. Light strikes particles...
Particles that are mere nanometers in size are at the forefront of scientific research today. They come in many different shapes: rods, spheres, cubes, vesicles, S-shaped worms and even donut-like rings. What makes them worthy of scientific study is that, being so tiny, they exhibit quantum mechanical properties not possible with larger objects.
Researchers at the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility located at DOE's Argonne National...
A new research project at the TH Mittelhessen focusses on the development of a novel light weight design concept for leisure boats and yachts. Professor Stephan Marzi from the THM Institute of Mechanics and Materials collaborates with Krake Catamarane, which is a shipyard located in Apolda, Thuringia.
The project is set up in an international cooperation with Professor Anders Biel from Karlstad University in Sweden and the Swedish company Lamera from...
02.10.2019 | Event News
02.10.2019 | Event News
19.09.2019 | Event News
22.10.2019 | Materials Sciences
22.10.2019 | Medical Engineering
22.10.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering