UBC Theses and Dissertations
The role and relative importance of language in the development of perspective taking skills in young children Clinton, Jill Ann
This study was undertaken in order to investigate the role of language in the development of perspective taking skills in young children. Theory, research, and observation into the development of these skills supports the view that language may be important in this development. The purpose of this experiment was to provide empirical research on the role of language in the development of these skills. There were two research questions being addressed by this study. They were: 1) Does the level of language competence play a role in the successful development of conceptual and perceptual perspective taking; and 2) How do children with normal language development compare to children with delayed language development in their development of conceptual and perceptual perspective taking? The experiment was designed with one independent variable (language) and two dependent variables (conceptual and perceptual perspective taking tasks). Two groups of four year old children differing only in their language development (one normal, one delayed) were administered both a conceptual and a perceptual perspective taking task. The results of the statistical analyses comparing the two groups on each task revealed that the group with normal language development performed significantly better than the delayed language group on the conceptual task, while the groups performed equally well on the perceptual task. The results indicated that language plays a more important role in the development of conceptual perspective taking, and a less important role in the development of perceptual perspective taking.
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