This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (MH 50843) to CAS and a fellowship awarded to AMC (T32 MH 070327). We thank the families who participated in the Emotional Beginnings Project.
Longitudinal Antecedents of Executive Function in Preschoolers
Article first published online: 30 MAR 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Child Development © 2012 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 83, Issue 3, pages 1022–1036, May/June 2012
How to Cite
Conway, A. and Stifter, C. A. (2012), Longitudinal Antecedents of Executive Function in Preschoolers. Child Development, 83: 1022–1036. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01756.x
- Issue published online: 1 MAY 2012
- Article first published online: 30 MAR 2012
Despite an extensive history underscoring the role of social processes and child contributions to the development of executive functions (C. Lewis & J. Carpendale, 2009; L. S. Vygotsky, 1987), research on these relations is sparse. To address this gap, 68 mother–child dyads were examined to determine whether maternal attention-directing behaviors (attention maintaining, attention redirection) and toddlers’ temperament predicted executive processes during preschool (mean age = 4.5 years, SD = 0.46)—delay and conflict inhibition. Maternal attention maintaining was associated with high levels of conflict inhibition for inhibited and exuberant children, whereas attention redirection was associated with low levels of delay and conflict inhibition for inhibited children. Therefore, maternal attention-directing behaviors may enhance the development of executive functions but only for children with inhibited and exuberant temperaments.