Preschool executive functioning and literacy achievement in Grades 1 and 3 of primary school: A longitudinal study

Valentina De Franchis, Maria Carmen Usai, Paola Viterbori, Laura Traverso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This longitudinal study examines the extent to which selected components of executive function (EF) measured in preschool children predict several indices of literacy-related achievement during primary school, controlling for general intellectual functioning and maternal education. Six EF measures were assessed in a sample of 5-year-old children (N = 175). The literacy achievement (reading/spelling and reading comprehension) of the same children was then tested in Grades 1 and 3. Using previous results obtained from the same sample of children (Usai, Viterbori, Traverso, & De Franchis, 2014), two EF components (inhibition and working memory-flexibility) were obtained by means of a confirmatory factor analysis. A full structural equation model was used to test the hypothesis that these two EF components predict literacy achievement in Grades 1 and 3. The results indicate that whereas reading comprehension was uniquely predicted by the WM-flexibility factor in Grade 3, EF did not uniquely predict the reading/spelling factor in either grade.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-195
Number of pages12
JournalLearning and Individual Differences
Volume54
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2017

Keywords

  • Executive function
  • Literacy
  • Preschool
  • School readiness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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