Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

R. Bruce Thompson, PhD

Second Advisor

Rebecca Nisetch, PhD

Third Advisor

Rikki Miller, PhD


This thesis explores links between contemporary intelligence theories, parent language, socioeconomic status, and metacognitive private speech. It addresses these connections through aliterature review of published studies, and an empirical study conducted with local early childhood education centers. This study began as an exploration of how children perceive intelligence, but upon diving into the research, it became clear that there were many layers to intelligence and learning about how children understand it; and so the thesis developed, based on multiple theories and studies. The following section explains the theories and concepts used to drive the research, methods, and overall direction of the study. Because intelligence cannot be defined in one singular way, there are other concepts that need to be understood to make conclusions or inferences about the data that is being presented.