The relation between television exposure and theory of mind among preschoolers

Amy I. Nathanson, Molly L. Sharp, Fashina Aladé, Eric E. Rasmussen, Katheryn Christy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


This study explored the relation between preschoolers' television exposure and one important indicator of cognitive processing called theory of mind (ToM). A total of 107 preschoolers and their parents provided data on the preschoolers' television exposure (including both intentional viewing and exposure via background television), parent-child discussion of television, and preschoolers' ToM. The results indicated that preschoolers who were exposed to more background television and who had a television in their bedroom performed more poorly on ToM assessments compared with other children. Parent-child discussion of television was positively related to ToM performance, however. These results have implications for how we understand the effects of television on preschoolers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1088-1108
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Communication
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2013


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