Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Honours


School of Psychology


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Kevin Runions


In an attempt to fill a gap in the social information processing literature, the present study investigated whether mother-child communication is related to children's attribution tendencies in ambiguous, negative social situations. Measures of mothers' social framing, frequency of mother-child conversations about peers, and children's hostile attributions of intent were scored for 45 mother-child dyads. The results showed that mothers' social framing was a key predictor of preschool children's attribution tendencies. However, frequency of mother-child conversations about peers was not a significant predictor of preschool children's attribution tendencies. Overall, the results of this study provide support for mothers' social framing as a specific socialization mechanism that is associated with children's attribution tendencies. However, due to the sample limitations and correlational design, these results are preliminary. Therefore, the present results offer preliminary findings for future research endeavors, and demonstrate the importance of future research investigating the role of content of mother-child communication in children's attribution tendencies with larger and more diverse samples so that these results can have implications for developing effective intervention and prevention programs for children's social maladjustment.