Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Relationship between Executive Functioning and Externalizing Behavior Problems during Elementary School
by Longo, Zachary T., Psy.D., Alfred University, 2019, 134; 13885308
Abstract (Summary)

The present study investigated the relationship between two major components of executive functioning (EF) and externalizing behavior problems (EBP) during the early elementary years. More specifically, Working Memory (WM) and Cognitive Flexibility (CF) measured in kindergarten through second grade were used to predict teacher ratings of EBP in the spring of second grade utilizing the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study: Kindergarten class of 2010–2011 (ECLS-K) dataset. Path analysis was implemented in order to understand the predictive relationship of WM and CF on EBP, as well as to uncover the developmental influence of WM on CF. After controlling for race, sex, and socioeconomic status (SES), results indicated that lower levels of EF predicted a higher magnitude of EBP, as measured by teacher rating. Specifically, of all the time points for WM and CF, only fall of kindergarten CF and fall of second grade WM significantly predicted EBP, but only to a small degree. Developmentally, WM was also found to predict later levels of CF at numerous timepoints, providing support to the notion that successful CF is built upon development of WM as one cannot flexibly shift between perspectives until one can hold a perspective in present awareness first.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: O'Connell, Lynn
Commitee: Button, Amy, Byrne, Steve
School: Alfred University
Department: Counseling and School Psychology
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 80/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Behavioral psychology, Elementary education, Educational psychology
Keywords: Children, Cognitive flexibility, Elementary school, Executive functioning, Externalizing behavior problems, Working memory
Publication Number: 13885308
ISBN: 978-1-392-19153-8
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