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Dr. Virginia Tompkins

Virginia Tompkins Picture

Dr. Virginia Tompkins

Associate Professor, Lima Campus



Galvin Hall
4240 Campus Drive
Lima, OH

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Virginia Tompkins is an associate professor at the Ohio State University at Lima. She completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Florida. She earned her B.S. in psychology in 2002, her M.S. in developmental psychology in 2007, and her Ph.D. in developmental psychology in 2009. She joined the Lima campus in the fall of 2009 where she teaches General Psychology, Introduction to Life Span Developmental Psychology, Psychology of Childhood, Psychology of the Adult Years, and Research Methods.

Dr. Tompkins’ research focuses on social cognitive development in early childhood. She is particularly interested in language, literacy, and theory of mind development. She is also interested in how these domains of development are related to social interaction with parents and teachers. Dr. Tompkins has worked with a variety of populations including language-impaired children and low-income children. She recently completed a federally-funded intervention aimed at improving theory of mind understanding and social competence among low-income preschoolers.

Selected Publications

Tompkins, V., Farrar, M. J., & Montgomery, D. E. (in press). Speaking your mind: Language and narrative in young children’s theory of mind development. Advances in Child Development and Behavior, 56.

Tompkins, V.,Benigno, J., Lee, B., & Wright, B. (2018). The relation between parents’ mental state talk and children’s social understanding: A meta-analysis. Social Development, 27, 223-246.

Tompkins, V., Bengochea, A., Nicol, S., & Justice, L. M. (2017). Mothers’ inferential input and children’s language skills. Reading Research Quarterly, 52, 397-416.

Tompkins, V., Logan, J. A. R., Blosser, D., & Duffy, K. (2017). Child language and parent discipline mediates the relation between false belief understanding and family income. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 158, 1-18.

Farrar, M. J., Benigno, J., & Tompkins, V. (2017). Are there different pathways to explicit false belief understanding: General language and complementation in typical and atypical populations. Cognitive Development, 43, 49-66.

Tompkins, V. (2015). Improving low-income preschoolers’ theory of mind: A training study. Cognitive Development, 36, 1-19.

Tompkins, V. (2015). Mothers’ cognitive state talk during shared book reading and children’s later false belief understanding. Cognitive Development, 36, 40-51.

Justice, L. M., Logan, J., Kaderavek, J., Schmitt, M. B., Tompkins, V., & Bartlett, C. (2015). Empirically based profiles of the early literacy skills of children with language impairment in early childhood special education. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 48, 482-494.

Guo, Y., Tompkins, V., Justice, L. M., & Petscher, Y. (2014). Classroom age composition and vocabulary development among at-risk preschoolers. Early Education and Development, 25, 1016-1034.

Kurcirkova, N., & Tompkins, V. (2014). Personalization in mother-child emotion talk across three contexts. Infant and Child Development, 23, 153-169.

Tompkins, V., Farrar, M. J., & Guo, Y. (2013). Siblings, language, and false belief in low-income preschoolers. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 174, 457-463.

Tompkins, V., Zucker, T. A., Justice, L. M., & Binici, S. (2013). Inferential talk during teacher-child interactions in small group play. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 28, 424-436.

Tompkins. V., Guo, Y., & Justice, L. M. (2013). Inference generation, story comprehension, and language in the preschool years. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 26, 403-429.