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Environmental Variables’ Role on Theory of Mind: Parent, Provider, Discipline and Daycare

Faculty Supervisor:
Paul Lewis
Year of Project Completion:
Jessica Yocum


The current study investigated environmental influences on theory of mind. The study went further then previous literature by examining the role of daycares on this developmental change. Furthermore, the study explored the difference of home and professional daycares on theory of mind. Data from 30 participants were gathered from 6 different daycares. Three of the daycares were professional and the other 3 were home daycares. A standard protocol (Carlson & Moses 2001) was used to test theory of mind. Provider and parental demographics along with provider and parental discipline tactics were also gathered. Age had a strong relation with TOM. Father income and education were significantly related to TOM. Although no significance was found regarding parental discipline, a provider’s choice of discipline did have impact on theory of mind scores. Furthermore, no significant difference of theory of mind was found between home daycares and professional daycares.

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.