This study investigates the role of socioeconomic adversity and armed conflict in executive function (EF), theory of mind (ToM) and empathy in a rarely studied group, children living in eastern Turkey. The data were collected from 115 children (60 girls) aged 39 to 95 months (M = 68.22, SD = 14.62). Results revealed that children’s performance was low in the EF and ToM tasks, and high in the empathy task. In path analysis, controlling for age, armed conflict experience predicted lower EF (β = -0.15) and higher empathy (β = 0.21), and socioeconomic adversity predicted lower ToM (β = 0.20). These findings contribute to our knowledge on cognitive and emotional development of children who live in such disadvantaged contexts.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was funded by the Patrice L. Engle Dissertation Grant for Global Early Child Development from the Society for Research in Child Development awarded to the first author. We would like to thank the parents and children who participated in the study, and the research assistants who helped with data collection.
- Executive function
- Armed conflict
- Socioeconomic adversity
- Theory of mind
- Cognitive development