Exploring a bidirectional model of executive functions and fluid intelligence across early development

Fitim Uka, Catherine Gunzenhauser, Ross A. Larsen, Antje von Suchodoletz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the importance of executive functions (EFs) and fluid intelligence for many everyday tasks, the evidence regarding associations between the two constructs remains limited and mixed. The present study is exploratory in testing a bidirectional model between various core components of EFs and fluid intelligence over the preschool period. A sample of 150 preschool children from Kosovo (51% girls) was tested on measures of EFs and fluid intelligence across three measurement waves. Autoregressive cross-lagged path models were used to test reciprocal effects. Preliminary results showed that prior EFs and fluid intelligence predicted later competence in the same domain. Initial evidence was found for a bidirectional relation between inhibitory control and fluid intelligence across time, but not for the other components under investigation (i.e., working memory and attention shifting). Findings indicated that relationships may differ depending on the component of EFs investigated, thus, suggesting a complex pattern of relations between EFs and fluid intelligence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-121
Number of pages11
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019


  • Bidirectional model
  • Executive functions
  • Fluid intelligence
  • Preschool children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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