Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Carla Martins
PhD (Department of Psychology, University of Reading, United Kingdom)
Department of Basic Psychology
  Assistant Professor
The main goal of our research is to investigate the development of social cognition during the first years of life, with a special focus on joint attention in infancy, and the evolution of mentalizing capacities leading to the emergency of the Theory of Mind at the end of preschool years. To fully understand how children become proficient in socio-cognitive skills – joint attention, collaborative symbolic play, and theory of mind –, it is vital to look for the specific influence of the quality of the relationship and interaction between the infant/child and his/her mother and father. Our main premise is that these capabilities represent outcomes of a developmental history embedded in a relational matrix, with the infant/child acquiring these abilities related to the self and others through socio-emotional experiences in close relationships.
Moreover, we aim at exploring the links between the interaction of socio-cognitive and socio-emotional development during preschool years, and school readiness prior to children’s enrollment at the 1st grade.
Socio-cognitive development
School readiness
Meta-analytical methods
Selected publications
Baptista, J., Osório, A., Martins, E. C., Veríssimo, M., & Martins, C. (2016). Does social–behavioral adjustment mediate the relation between executive function and academic readiness? Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 46, 22-30. doi: 10.1016/j.appdev.2016.05.004 DOI
Martins, C., Mateus, V., Osório, A., Martins, E. C., & Soares, I. (2013). Joint attention with the mother and the father at 10 months of age. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 11(3), 319-330. doi: 10.1080/17405629.2013.821945 DOI
Martins, C., Belsky, J., Marques, S., Baptista, J., Silva, J., Mesquita, A. R., de Castro, F., Sousa, N., & Soares, I. (2013). Diverse physical growth trajectories in institutionalized Portuguese children below age 3: Relation to child, family, and institutional factors. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 38(4), 438-448. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jss129 DOI
Osório, A., Martins, C., Meins, E., Martins, E. C., & Soares, I. (2011). Individual and relational contributions to parallel and joint attention in infancy. Infant Behavior and Development, 34(4), 515-524. doi: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2011.07.005 DOI
Martins, C. & Gaffan, E. A. (2000). Effects of early maternal depression on patterns of infant-mother attachment: A meta-analytic investigation. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 41(6), 737-746. doi: 10.1111/1469-7610.00661 DOI