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Development patterns of executive functions in children

, : Development patterns of executive functions in children. Spanish Journal of Psychology 16: E41-E41

Executive Functions (EF) exercise control over an individual’s conduct and thinking through a set of functionally independent processes, among which are cognitive flexibility (reactive and spontaneous), working memory and planning. The development patterns of these components appear to have stages of acceleration and deceleration during childhood. Studies analyzing their development in Spanish-speaking children were not found in our area. Therefore, this study will analyze the development patterns of the cited executive functions with the objective of establishing relationships and comparisons, and identifying the stages of acceleration and stagnation for each component. The study’s sample consists of 274 schoolchildren between the ages of 6 and 8 (119 in first grade, 61 in second grade and 94 in third grade). Participants were evaluated using the following instruments from the Neuropsychological Assessment of Children test battery (known by the acronym ENI in Spanish): Verbal Fluency (semantic and phonemic); Cognitive Flexibility; Mexican Pyramid; and Backward Digit Span. Three different development patterns were detected, as well as different interactions between the executive components. Additionally, three empirical types were established based on the patterns and relationships between components.


PMID: 23866237

DOI: 10.1017/sjp.2013.44

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