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The Role of Executive Functions in Socioeconomic Attainment Gaps: Results From a Randomized Controlled Trial

Blakey, E; Matthews, D; Cragg, L; Buck, J; Cameron, D; Higgins, B; Pepper, L; ... Carroll, DJ; + view all (2020) The Role of Executive Functions in Socioeconomic Attainment Gaps: Results From a Randomized Controlled Trial. Child Development 10.1111/cdev.13358. (In press).

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Abstract

The socioeconomic attainment gap in mathematics starts early and increases over time. This study aimed to examine why this gap exists. Four‐year‐olds from diverse backgrounds were randomly allocated to a brief intervention designed to improve executive functions (N = 87) or to an active control group (N = 88). The study was preregistered and followed CONSORT guidelines. Executive functions and mathematical skills were measured at baseline, 1 week, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year posttraining. Executive functions mediated the relation between socioeconomic status and mathematical skills. Children improved over training, but this did not transfer to untrained executive functions or mathematics. Executive functions may explain socioeconomic attainment gaps, but cognitive training directly targeting executive functions is not an effective way to narrow this gap.

Type: Article
Title: The Role of Executive Functions in Socioeconomic Attainment Gaps: Results From a Randomized Controlled Trial
DOI: 10.1111/cdev.13358
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.13358
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Social Sciences, Psychology, Educational, Psychology, Developmental, Psychology, TRAINING ATTENTIONAL CONTROL, WORKING-MEMORY, SELF-REGULATION, SCHOOL READINESS, EARLY-CHILDHOOD, FAR-TRANSFER, LONGITUDINAL PREDICTORS, LEARNING-DIFFICULTIES, PRESCHOOL-CHILDREN, MATHEMATICS
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology and Human Development
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10104362
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