Mindful Family Routines and the Cultivation of Executive Function Skills in Childhood

Andrei D. Semenov, Philip David Zelazo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


In order to address the deleterious effects of poverty and toxic stress on the development of children's executive function (EF) skills, it is important for researchers to consider interventions that address multiple overlapping family systems. Interventions should consider influences on children's developing EF skills, including parent stress, household chaos, and the quality of parent-child interactions. One particularly important component of successful EF intervention is the promotion of cognitive reflection. However, common methods of promoting reflection in children (e.g., mindfulness meditation) might not be appropriate in all contexts. This paper outlines a framework for considering the promotion of cognitive reflection within daily family routines. This integration of practices has the potential to improve children's EF skills as well as other important family outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-131
Number of pages20
JournalHuman Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • Executive function skills
  • Family systems
  • Mindful family routines
  • Parent-child interactions


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