Grace Wybourn

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Olson, Janet Signe

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

School of Allied Health and Communicative Disorders


The current study will address the question: In response to infants' gestures, do mothers use more mental state words referencing infants' mental states or words referencing their own mental states? The study will also examine whether the reference is dependent on the type of mental state used by the mother; those categories are perception, volition, cognition, and disposition. Through examination of previous research, it is hypothesized that mothers will reference infants' mental states more frequently than their own regardless of the type of mental state (Bretherton & Beeghly, 1982). This question is important because there is evidence that mothers' references to infants' mental states during joint attention episodes are more facilitative or acquiring mental state words than mothers' references to their own mental states (Slaughter, Peterson, & Carpenter, 2008; Taumoepeau & Ruffman, 2006; Taumoepeau & Ruffman, 2006). However, no previous study has examined how mothers choose to reference mental states after infants' gestures that may overtly signal their mental states.


Includes bibliographical references.


20 unnumbered pages




Northern Illinois University

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