Causal Relations among Executive Functions and Academic Skills from Preschool to End of First Grade

Neeltje J. Davidse, Maria T. de Jong, Adriana G. Bus


In a sample of 87 children we tested whether executive functions (memory and inhibition) in preschool predict numeracy and literacy skills in first grade. We controlled for variation attributable to school level, several covariates, and preschool academic skills. The long-term findings indicated that early delays in executive functions are often temporary and not strong predictors of academic skills in Grade 1. Relating changes in executive functions to changes in numeracy and literacy skills, using a fixed effects analysis, we found support for the hypothesis that executive functions are causally related to academic skills. What this may mean and implications of this finding for the school curriculum and interventions are discussed. 

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English Linguistics Research
ISSN 1927-6028 (Print)   ISSN 1927-6036 (Online)


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