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The contribution of executive function and social understanding to preschoolers' letter and math skills

The influence of executive function and social understanding on letter and math skills was examined in 129 3-5-year-olds. Tasks were administered to measure working memory, inhibition, social understanding, letter and math skills, and vocabulary. Using latent variable analyses, multiple models were compared in order to examine the influence of executive function and social understanding on participants' emerging academic skills. In the best-fitting model, working memory contributed to letter and math skills, over and above inhibition, social understanding, age, and vocabulary. Inhibition and social understanding did not uniquely contribute to letter and math skills, but significant relations were found among working memory, inhibition, and social understanding. Findings are discussed with respect to improving ways to examine the complex relations among preschoolers' executive function, social understanding, and school readiness skills. (author abstract)
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Reports & Papers

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