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Department of Psychology


Publication details for Professor Charles Fernyhough

Meins, E., Fernyhough, C., Wainwright, R., Clark-Carter, D., Das Gupta, M., Fradley, E. & Tuckey, M. (2003). Pathways to understanding mind: Construct validity and predictive validity of maternal mind-mindedness. Child Development 74(4): 1194-1211.

Author(s) from Durham


The construct validity of maternal mind-mindedness (MM) was investigated in the context of its relations with children's later understanding of mind. MM measures were obtained from infant–mother (N=52) interactions at 6 months, and from maternal interviews at 48 months. Children's understanding of mind was assessed using theory of mind (ToM) tasks at 45 and 48 months, and a stream of consciousness (SoC) task at 55 months. One of the early MM measures—mothers' appropriate mind-related comments—was a positive independent predictor of: (a) MM at 48 months, and (b) ToM and SoC performance at 45 to 55 months. Path analyses suggested direct links between mothers' use of appropriate mind-related comments and