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Examining the role of demographic characteristics, attachment, and language in preschool children’s executive function skills


Executive function (EF) skills play a crucial role in young children’s academic and social-emotional development. Given that factors associated with poverty can compromise the development of EF skills, it is vital to continue to examine what factors help predict and support EF skills in children from at-risk backgrounds. Using a sample of Head Start children (N=43), we examined the role of children’s demographic characteristics, attachment relationship to adults, and receptive language skills and bilingual status in children’s EF skills. Results of the analysis showed that most children in this sample performed within the ‘average’ range in EF performance and that females performed significantly higher on the MEFS compared to boys. Results from a sequential regression analysis showed that receptive language skills in English and being bilingual were predictive of EF skills above and beyond demographic characteristics and attachment relationship to adults. Implications for early childhood learning and practice are discussed. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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