Theory of mind as a mediator of reading comprehension differences between Chinese school-age children with autism and typically developing peers

Shelley Xiuli TONG, Ruby Wing Yan WONG, Lok Yin Joyce KWAN, Joanne ARCIULI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

Abstract

This study examined the relation between Theory of Mind (ToM) and reading comprehension in 42 7- to 9-year-old Hong Kong Chinese children with autism and 55 typically developing peers (TD) who were comparable in age, nonverbal intelligence, and working memory. Relative to their TD peers, children with autism exhibited difficulties with reading comprehension and advanced ToM tasks, but not word reading and basic ToM tasks. After controlling for nonverbal intelligence, working memory, word reading, and vocabulary knowledge, ToM partially mediated the relation between group status (autistic or not) and reading comprehension. This mediation was significant for non-literal comprehension skills (i.e., those involving inference, evaluation, and mentalization) but not for literal comprehension skills (i.e., those involving simple recall and recognition of textually explicit information). These findings indicate that ToM partially explains the differences in non-literal reading comprehension between children with autism and their TD peers. Copyright © 2019 Society for the Scientific Study of Reading.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-306
JournalScientific Studies of Reading
Volume24
Issue number4
Early online dateSep 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Citation

Tong, S. X., Wong, R. W. Y., Kwan, J. L. Y., & Arciuli, J. (2020). Theory of mind as a mediator of reading comprehension differences between Chinese school-age children with autism and typically developing peers. Scientific Studies of Reading, 24(4), 292-306. doi: 10.1080/10888438.2019.1666133

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Theory of mind as a mediator of reading comprehension differences between Chinese school-age children with autism and typically developing peers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.