Mental state verbs are an important component of social interactions and are often delayed in impaired populations. In this study, mental state verb use by children with fragile X syndrome was examined during spontaneous conversations of 52 children and their mothers. Mental state verb use was related to measures of receptive and expressive language and developmental abilities. Mothers' use of mental state verbs and children's autistic behaviors were not related to children's use of mental state verbs. The results suggest that specific pragmatic impairments in fragile X syndrome influence the use of mental state verbs regardless of the presence of autistic behaviors.
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