Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Educational Psychology


Georgiana S. Tryon

Subject Categories

Educational Psychology | Psychology


Multicultural; NEPSY; Norm-referenced; Preschool; Social Skills; Theory of Mind


This study sought to examine the effect of Theory of Mind (ToM) performance as measured by a norm-referenced assessment on the social skills of a multicultural group of preschool students. This study extends the current research in this area. Most previous studies examined the relationship among ToM, other social cognitive skills and social skills using participants from predominately Caucasian middle class families (Slaughter et al., 2015). Additionally, earlier research relied primarily on homemade measures of such skills (Cassidy et al., 2003; Disendruck & Ben-Eliyahu, 2006; McAlister & Peterson, 2013; Watson et al., 1999; Walker, 2005).

Participants included 67 children between 39 and 50 months of age enrolled in publicly funded preschool programs. Assessment using the NEPSY-II (Korkman, Kirk & Kemp, 2007) determined participants ToM and AR skills. Social skills were assessed through behavior observation and teacher report.

Study findings indicate that demographic variables play a role in how teachers rate student both pro-social and anti-social behaviors. NEPSY-II reliability coefficients this sample were extremely low and the validity of the measure is discussed (van de Vijver & Leung, 1997). Qualitative analysis of the NEPSY-II ToM scale is presented and possible explanations for low Coefficient alpha are discussed.