In the present study, the effects of theory of mind and self-regulation skills on children’s helping behavior were examined. Total of 104 children aging between 36-59 months, participated in the study. Helping behavior was measured with an instrumental helping task. Scaling of Theory-of-Mind tasks were used in measuring theory of mind. As for measuring self-regulation, peg tapping task were used. In order to control receptive language abilities of children, Turkish Expressive and Receptive Language Test (TIFALDI) was applied. Results of the analyses indicated that there were significant relations between theory of mind and self-regulation skills and helping behavior, however, multiple regression analyses showed that the main predictor of helping behavior was theory of mind, but not self-regulation skills after controlling for age and receptive language. Results were discussed with respect to the literature, in relation to the role of theory of mind and self-regulation skills in explaining helping behavior.
Keywords: prosocial behavior, instrumental helping, theory of mind, self-regulation, executive functions