First-order theory of mind skills shortly after traumatic brain injury in 3- to 5-year-old children

Dev Neuropsychol. 2009;34(4):507-19. doi: 10.1080/87565640902964490.


Post-acute effects of early childhood traumatic brain injury (TBI) on first-order theory of mind (ToM) skills were examined in 86 children with orthopedic injury (OI), 42 children with moderate TBI, and 17 children with severe TBI aged 3 to 5 years at the time of injury. Three-year-olds with TBI performed more poorly than 3-year-olds with OI on an appearance-reality task. The severe TBI group was impaired on false-contents tasks compared to the moderate TBI and OI groups. Age and IQ were strong predictors of ToM performance; however, the relationship between ToM and IQ was not as strong for children with TBI.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain Injuries / complications*
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Child Behavior Disorders / diagnosis
  • Child Behavior Disorders / epidemiology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Theory of Mind*