Social factors in the development of early executive functioning: A closer look at the caregiving environment

Annie Bernier, Stephanie M. Carlson, Marie Deschênes, Célia Matte-Gagné

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

235 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigated prospective links between quality of the early caregiving environment and children's subsequent executive functioning (EF). Sixty-two families were met on five occasions, allowing for assessment of maternal interactive behavior, paternal interactive behavior, and child attachment security between 1 and 2years of age, and child EF at 2 and 3years. The results suggested that composite scores of parental behavior and child attachment were related to child performance on EF tasks entailing strong working memory and cognitive flexibility components (conflict-EF). In particular, child attachment security was related to conflict-EF performance at 3years above and beyond what was explained by a combination of all other social antecedents of child EF identified thus far: child verbal ability and prior EF, family SES, and parenting behavior. Attachment security may thus play a meaningful role in young children's development of executive control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-24
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental Science
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

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