Bidirectionality in preschool children's executive functions and language skills: Is one developing skill the better predictor of the other?

Pauline L. Slot, Antje von Suchodoletz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Executive functions and language skills play a critical role for children's school readiness. The present study examined reciprocal relations between these two sets of skills among three-to-four-year-old children attending German preschools (N = 227). Multiple tasks assessed executive functions and language skills twice over the one-year study period. Data was analyzed in a cross-lagged model with latent constructs. Findings provided support for bidirectionality between executive functions and language skills with language being a stronger predictor of executive function development than vice versa. Contrary to the hypothesis, no gender differences in executive functions and language skills were detected. Moreover, there were no statistically significant differences in the cross-lagged paths between executive functions and language skills between boys and girls. Together, our findings point to the importance of supporting children's language development for enhancing executive function development for both boys and girls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-214
Number of pages10
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
Volume42
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

Keywords

  • Bidirectionality
  • Executive functions
  • Language
  • Preschool

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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