The psychological capacity to recognize that others may hold and act on false beliefs has been proposed to reflect an evolved, species-typical adaptation for social reasoning in humans; however, controversy surrounds the developmental timing and universality of this trait. Cross-cultural studies using elicited-response tasks indicate that the age at which children begin to understand false beliefs ranges from 4 to 7 years across societies, whereas studies using spontaneous-response tasks with Western children indicate that false-belief understanding emerges much earlier, consistent with (...) the hypothesis that false-belief understanding is a psychological adaptation that is universally present in early childhood. To evaluate this hypothesis, we used three spontaneous-response tasks that have revealed early false-belief understanding in the West to test young children in three traditional, non-Western societies: Salar (China), Shuar/Colono (Ecuador) and Yasawan (Fiji). Results were comparable with those from the West, supporting the hypothesis that false-belief understanding reflects an adaptation that is universally present early in development. (shrink)
Fisher, Jin, and Scott push a central assumption of syntactic bootstrapping: that learners have a universal bias to map each noun in a sentence onto a participant role (i.e., argument of the verb). They propose two enrichments: First, that children use both semantic and syntactic information in representing nouns that accompany a verb; second, that children expect continuity across a discourse. They provide evidence for both learning mechanisms among young children, further spelling out the precise mechanisms underlying syntactic bootstrapping.
Adolescent mothers experience poorer sleep than adult mothers, and Latina adolescent mothers are at greater risk of postpartum depression compared with other racial/ethnic groups. However, social support may be protective against the negative effects of poor sleep in this population. The current study examined associations between the quality and quantity of Latina adolescent mothers’ sleep and mental health, and whether social support buffered the effects of poor sleep on mental health. A sample of Latina adolescent mothers from an agricultural region (...) in the United States reported on their sleep duration/quality, social support from family, friends, and significant others, and their depressive and anxiety symptoms. Results showed that adolescent mothers reported poorer sleep than pediatric recommendations, and poorer sleep quality was associated with greater depressive and anxiety symptoms. Interestingly, when adolescent mothers reported better sleep, they had fewer depressive symptoms in the context of high support from friends compared with low support from friends. Sleep is important for mental health in Latina adolescent mothers, and better sleep combined with strong social support has positive associations with mental health in this population. Findings hold implications for improving mental health in adolescent mothers. (shrink)