Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Amy A. Weimer

Second Advisor

Dr. Frederick A. Ernst

Third Advisor

Dr. Philip Gasquoine


The present study examined relationships among social skills including deceptive behavior, socioeconomic status, and theory of mind development in 98 predominantly Hispanic 3- to 7-year-old children residing in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Measures were of vocabulary, deceptive ability, true belief, and false belief understanding. Children’s interactions with others were also measured through observational methods and parental data was obtained to compute socioeconomic status and validate social skills information. It was hypothesized that social skill development, including deception would emerge along with theory of mind understanding in this population, and that children from households of lower socioeconomic status would acquire less ToM. Neither hypothesis was supported. Findings suggest that cultural factors might play an important role in social and cognitive development.


Copyright 2011 Lucia A. Salinas. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American