Concurrent and 2-year longitudinal relations were investigated between two indicators of children's (n = 60; mean age = 7 years 11 months) executive function, inhibitory control and sequencing ability, and behavior problem symptomatology. Dependent measures were parent and teacher reported internalizing and externalizing behavior. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses demonstrated few significant concurrent associations between either inhibitory control or sequencing ability, and behavior problem symptoms. In contrast, baseline inhibitory control predicted decreased teacher reported externalizing, and parent reported externalizing and internalizing behavior problems over a 2-year period. Baseline sequencing ability also predicted decreased teacher reported externalizing and parent reported internalizing behavior over this same time period. Results suggest that some aspects of executive function in early elementary grade-school children may be more strongly associated with change in behavior over time than concurrent behavior. Implications of these findings for the prevention of behavior problems are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology