Measures of executive function : convergent validity and links to academic achievement in preschool Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/nv9356480

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  • Executive functions (including attentional shifting/flexibility, working memory, and inhibitory control) are strong predictors of children's early school success (Blair & Razza, 2007; Espy et al., 2004). The current study explored questions related to measurement of executive functions in preschool-aged children. Convergent and predictive validity were assessed for two traditional executive function tasks (the Dimensional Change Card Sort and the Day-Night Stroop), a behavioral executive function task (the Head-Toes-Knees- Shoulders, HTKS), and teacher ratings of child classroom behavior (the Child Behavior Rating Scale, CBRS). All measures were low-to-moderately correlated for the full sample of preschoolers. The CBRS and the HTKS tasks were the most consistent predictors of emergent mathematics, vocabulary, and literacy, controlling for child age and Head Start status; however, all tasks were significantly related to each achievement outcome. Additionally, the convergent and predictive validity of the executive function tasks and teacher ratings were examined by Head Start status. Results show that the tasks were more closely related in non Head Start children. For predictive validity, the most notable difference was for the Day-Night Stroop, which was a strong consistent predictor of academic outcomes for non Head Start children but not for Head Start children. Together, these findings provide insight to the convergent and predictive validity of executive function tasks during early childhood and differences in executive function associated with Head Start status.
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