Cognitive and Behavioral Rating Measures of Executive Function as Predictors of Academic Outcomes in Children



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The present study aimed to compare the interrelations of cognitive (or performance-based) versus behavioral rating measures four specific domains of Executive Function (EF), and to relate these to academic outcomes in children. The goal of this study was to examine the relation between cognitive and behavioral rating measures of EF on a 1:1 basis, within a constricted age range in typically developing children. Ninety-six 4th and 5th grade students were assessed with cognitive and behavioral rating measures (teacher reports) within four EF domains (working memory, planning, inhibition and shift). Relations between both measurement types within each EF domain were modest (range r = |.19 to .25|), and their relation to measures of reading comprehension and math performance were moderate (range r = |.29 to .55|). All regression models within each EF domain (working memory, planning, inhibition, and shift) were significant (p < .05) with and without the inclusion of relevant covariates (phonological decoding, education program, and/or age). Final models with all relevant covariates and EF measures were significant (p < .05) in the prediction of reading comprehension and math, with working memory particularly important for reading comprehension and inhibition particularly important for math. Cognitive measures and behavioral ratings of EF were only modestly related to each other, though each was contributory to the prediction of both reading comprehension and math.



Executive functions, Academic Skills