"Kindergarten Children’s Executive Functions Predict Their Second-Grade Academic Achievement and Behavior"
Distinguished Professor George Farkas publishes with colleagues in the September/October 2019 issues of Child Development: "Kindergarten Children’s Executive Functions Predict Their Second-Grade Academic Achievement and Behavior." Co-authors are Paul Morgan (1st author), Marianne M. Hillemeier, Wik Hung Pun, and Steve Maczuga, all of Pennsylvania State University.
Whether and to what extent kindergarten children’s executive functions (EF) constitute promising targets of early intervention is currently unclear. This study examined whether kindergarten children’s EF predicted their second-grade academic achievement and behavior. This was done using (a) a longitudinal and nationally representative sample (N = 8,920, Mage = 97.6 months), (b) multiple measures of EF, academic achievement, and behavior, and (c) extensive statistical control including for domain-specific and domain-general lagged dependent variables. All three measures of EF—working memory, cognitive flexibility, and inhibitory control—positively and significantly predicted reading, mathematics, and science achievement. In addition, inhibitory control negatively predicted both externalizing and internalizing problem behaviors. Children’s EF constitute promising targets of experimentally evaluated interventions for increasing academic and behavioral functioning.
Morgan, M. L., Farkas, G., Millemeier, M. M., Pun, W. H., & Maczuga, S. (2019). Kindergarten children’s executive functions predict their second-grade
academic achievement and behavior. Child Development, 90(5), 1802-1816.