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      Bilingual experience and executive functioning in young children

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      Developmental Science

      Wiley

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          Abstract

          Advanced inhibitory control skills have been found in bilingual speakers as compared to monolingual controls (Bialystok, 1999). We examined whether this effect is generalized to an unstudied language group (Spanish-English bilingual) and multiple measures of executive function by administering a battery of tasks to 50 kindergarten children drawn from three language groups: native bilinguals, monolinguals (English), and English speakers enrolled in second-language immersion kindergarten. Despite having significantly lower verbal scores and parent education/income level, Spanish-English bilingual children's raw scores did not differ from their peers. After statistically controlling for these factors and age, native bilingual children performed significantly better on the executive function battery than both other groups. Importantly, the relative advantage was significant for tasks that appear to call for managing conflicting attentional demands (Conflict tasks); there was no advantage on impulse-control (Delay tasks). These results advance our understanding of both the generalizability and specificity of the compensatory effects of bilingual experience for children's cognitive development.

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          Delay of gratification in children

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            Working Memory Capacity as Executive Attention

             Randall Engle (2016)
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              Neurocognitive correlates of socioeconomic status in kindergarten children.

              Socioeconomic status (SES) is strongly associated with cognitive ability and achievement during childhood and beyond. Little is known about the developmental relationships between SES and specific brain systems or their associated cognitive functions. In this study we assessed neurocognitive functioning of kindergarteners from different socioeconomic backgrounds, using tasks drawn from the cognitive neuroscience literature in order to determine how childhood SES predicts the normal variance in performance across different neurocognitive systems. Five neurocognitive systems were examined: the occipitotemporal/visual cognition system, the parietal/spatial cognition system, the medial temporal/memory system, the left perisylvian/language system, and the prefrontal/executive system. SES was disproportionately associated with the last two, with low SES children performing worse than middle SES children on most measures of these systems. Relations among language, executive function, SES and specific aspects of early childhood experience were explored, revealing intercorrelations and a seemingly predominant role of individual differences in language ability involved in SES associations with executive function.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Developmental Science
                Developmental Sci
                Wiley
                1363-755X
                1467-7687
                March 2008
                March 2008
                : 11
                : 2
                : 282-298
                Article
                10.1111/j.1467-7687.2008.00675.x
                3647884
                18333982
                © 2008

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