An investigation of the relationship between literacy, verbal ability and metarepresentational ability in normal young readers

Wade Brian Anderson, Fordham University

Abstract

The primary aim of this investigation was to show a direct empirical link between metarepresentational ability and literacy, as well as verbal ability. The study investigated metarepresentational abilities using standard and modified theory-of-mind tasks in a group of 60 normal 6 to 7 year-old children, whose reading abilities were on a continuum from emergent to fluent. The study also attempted to replicate the finding that metarepresentational ability is related to number of siblings. Finally the study investigated 6 to 7 year-old children's understanding of differentially complex theory-of-mind concepts, in order to support previous research that shows lags in understanding complex higher-order reasoning compared to relatively less-complex attributions. The results of the study support that literacy is a predictor of metarepresentational ability in first-grade readers. This study did not replicate the finding that metarepresentation is related to number of siblings. Results show overall support for a hierarchical progression of theory-of-mind concepts. Findings are discussed in relation to healthy emotional development and psychopathology. Suggestions for future investigation of metarepresentation, literacy, and verbal abilities are presented, as well as proposed causal models. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Developmental|Psychology, Clinical|Psychology, Cognitive

Recommended Citation

Wade Brian Anderson, "An investigation of the relationship between literacy, verbal ability and metarepresentational ability in normal young readers" (January 1, 1998). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI9816341.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9816341

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