The role of the executive functions in school achievement at the end of Grade 1.J Exp Child Psychol 2011; 109(2):158-73JE
The aim of this study was to determine the role of executive functions (EFs) in early school achievement when a variety of potential confounding factors were controlled. Measures of EF (inhibition, flexibility, and working memory) and school readiness were administered to a sample of 85 kindergartners (39 boys and 46 girls, 5-6years old). School achievement was then assessed at the end of Grade 1. Results show math and reading/writing skills at the end of Grade 1 to be associated with kindergarten EFs. Only working memory contributed uniquely to the variance in school achievement after all covariates (preacademic abilities, affective variables, and family variables) were controlled and, even then, only with respect to math skills. On the other hand, working memory and inhibition had an indirect effect on reading/writing skills via anger-aggression. EF implication in school achievement is discussed in terms of task demands and child age.