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Musical Activities, Prosocial Behaviors, and Executive Function Skills of Kindergarten Children

Ilari, B; Helfter, S; Huynh, T; Bowmer, A; Mason, K; Knight, J; Welch, G; (2021) Musical Activities, Prosocial Behaviors, and Executive Function Skills of Kindergarten Children. Music & Science , 4 10.1177/20592043211054829. Green open access

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Abstract

Prosocial behaviors and executive function are staples of child development. Engagement in music has been associated with enhanced prosocial behaviors and executive function skills in children and youth. Yet, research concerning the role of formal music programs in the development of these important behaviors and skills remains elusive. The aim of this exploratory study was to investigate the role of a 5-week music program on prosocial behaviors (instrumental helping and sharing) and executive function skills (cognitive flexibility and working memory/inhibition control) of 103 kindergarten children from two public schools in a large urban center in the United States, serving predominantly Latinx children from underserved communities. Our data suggested that the short music program positively influenced children's cognitive flexibility, but not working memory, nor prosocial skills (sharing and helping). Findings are discussed in light of earlier studies, methodological issues, and limitations, and in relation to developmental and cultural issues surrounding child participants. Implications for future research and practice are outlined.

Type: Article
Title: Musical Activities, Prosocial Behaviors, and Executive Function Skills of Kindergarten Children
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/20592043211054829
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/20592043211054829
Language: English
Additional information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Keywords: Transfer effects, early childhood music education, prosocial behaviors, executive function, kindergarten, Latinx culture
UCL classification: UCL
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 - Culture, Communication and Media
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Language and Cognition
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10139967
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