Executive Functions after Age 5: Changes and Correlates.

University of Georgia.
Developmental Review (Impact Factor: 3.23). 09/2009; 29(3):180-200. DOI: 10.1016/j.dr.2009.05.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Research and theorizing on executive function (EF) in childhood has been disproportionately focused on preschool age children. This review paper outlines the importance of examining EF throughout childhood, and even across the lifespan. First, examining EF in older children can address the question of whether EF is a unitary construct. The relations among the EF components, particularly as they are recruited for complex tasks, appear to change over the course of development. Second, much of the development of EF, especially working memory, shifting, and planning, occurs after age 5. Third, important applications of EF research concern the role of school-age children's EF in various aspects of school performance, as well as social functioning and emotional control. Future research needs to examine a more complete developmental span, from early childhood through late adulthood, in order to address developmental issues adequately.

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Available from: Lara Jones, Sep 26, 2015
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    • "Ample evidence exists indicating that both children's EF abilities and their ability to remember bound details undergo dramatic developmental changes during childhood. Specifically, developmental studies of EF consistently report age-related improvements across a variety of subdomains (e.g., inhibition, shifting, working memory), from infancy through young adulthood (e.g., Anderson, 2002; for review, see Best et al., 2009). There is less consistency, "
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    ABSTRACT: Previous research has documented an association between executive functioning (EF) and memory for bound details. However, it is unknown if this relation varies as a function of the type of bound information (i.e., unitized versus non-unitized) and whether this association changes as a function of age during childhood, when both EF and memory undergo rapid development. The current study sought to address these gaps by examining whether relations between parent-reported EF differed for unitized versus non-unitized memory representations and if these relations differed between children who were 4, 6, or 8 years of age. Results revealed that EF was selectively associated with non-unitized associative memory in 8-year-old children; no significant relations between EF and either memory condition were evident in 4- or 6-year-olds. These results suggest relations between EF and memory may be specific to non-unitized representations and that this association may emerge across childhood as both EF and memory abilities develop.
    Frontiers in Psychology 09/2015; 6:1214. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01214 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    • "as adults . This is likely one of several factors that contribute to memory accuracy during child development . Finally , a limitation of this study is that we did not directly measure individual differences in executive function and attentional control . Such processes show robust maturation during childhood , account for improvements in memory ( Best et al . , 2009 ; Cowan & Alloway , 2009 ) and may mediate efficacious strategy use ( Roebers , Schmid , & Roderer , 2010 ) ."
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    ABSTRACT: The development of associative memory during childhood may be influenced by metacognitive factors. Here, one aspect of metamemory function--belief in strategy efficacy-was tested for a role in the effective use of encoding strategies. A sample of 61 children and adults (8-25years of age) completed an associative recognition memory test and were assessed on belief in the efficacy of encoding strategies. Independent of age, belief ratings identified two factors: "deep" and "shallow" encoding strategies. Although the strategy factor structure was stable across age, adolescents and adults were more likely to prefer using a deep encoding strategy, whereas children were equally likely to prefer a shallow strategy. Belief ratings of deep encoding strategies increased with age and, critically, accounted for better associative recognition. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 08/2015; 136. DOI:10.1016/j.jecp.2015.02.008 · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    • "These processes are routinely bundled as executive functions (Diamond, 2006), given their role in enabling, constraining, directing, and supporting complex cognition. Although the exact course of executive function development remains debated, research suggests that they do not reach maturity until adolescence (Best et al., 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Despite the prominent role of executive functions in children's emerging competencies, there remains debate regarding the structure and development of executive functions. In an attempt to reconcile these discrepancies, a differentiation model of executive function development was evaluated in the early years using 6-month age groupings. Specifically, 281 preschoolers completed measures of working memory, inhibition, and shifting. Results contradicted suggestions that executive functions follow a single trajectory of progressive separation in childhood, instead suggesting that these functions may undergo a period of integration in the preschool years. These results highlight potential problems with current practices and theorizing in executive function research.
    Frontiers in Psychology 03/2015; 6:285. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00285 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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