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Anett Wolgast, Yvonne Barnes-Holmes, Ulrike Hartmann and Jasmin Decristan

Abstract

Social perspective taking (SPT) and the coordination of subjective and alternative perspectives are paramount to social behavior. Scholars tend to agree that approaches to conceptualizing SPT relate to interpersonal understanding and to language skills. The aim of this study was to determine whether interrelations exist between children’s SPT and experience in reading because reading requires the reader to take various perspectives. Additionally, receptive vocabulary and reading fluency of 2,105 children were assessed and they completed a questionnaire at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of fifth grade. Results indicated that the students’ SPT was determined by gender and reading experience with books and newspapers. We conclude that this reading experience affects students’ SPT levels positively; that finding can contribute to the development of school-based activities to enhance SPT levels.