Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Learning Sciences and Human Development

Committee Chair

Michael T. Yura.


The following study explored relations between theory of mind understanding, social competence, and auditory processing in elementary school children with and without Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Children in this study were recruited from a local elementary school, as well as two outpatient clinics. Scores on measures of false belief and recursive thinking, social skills (Social Knowledge Interview, Harter, Emotion labels), and auditory processing (Test of Auditory Processing Skills, Revised) were obtained along with teacher ratings of children's self-regulation as measured by Attention and Hyperactivity subscales of the Conners' Teacher Rating Scale - Revised. Language ability was also measured using the Test for Comprehension of Auditory Language, Revised. Analyses indicated that children with and without ADHD differed significantly in their performance on all variables except the labeling of emotions, with ADHD children doing more poorly than their peers. Results also indicated that theory of mind understanding follows a developmental progression and that there is a positive relationship between false belief and recursive thinking tasks. A relationship between theory of mind understanding and social functioning in both groups was also found. Finally, regression analyses indicated that age, language ability, and auditory processing predicted performance on theory of mind, while hyperactivity predicted social competence.