Cognitive flexibility children across the transition to school: A longitudinal study

Nihal Yeniad, Maike Malda, Judi Mesman*, Marinus H. van IJzendoorn, Rosanneke A. G. Emmen, Marielle J. L. Prevoo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Longitudinal research exploring the development of cognitive flexibility is lacking. In this study we investigated the speed-accuracy pattern in cognitive flexibility performance in 87 5-6-year-olds across the transition to formal education. Overall, longitudinal change was observed in accuracy but not in speed of responding. Children with low accuracy scores in kindergarten were faster than those with high accuracy scores, but the low-accuracy group showed a significant performance gain in accuracy over time, whereas high-accuracy kindergartners only gained in speed. These results suggest an important role of formal schooling in cognitive flexibility in narrowing the performance gap between more and less able children. The findings also identify existence of diverse paths in development of flexible thinking. (C) 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-47
Number of pages13
JournalCognitive Development
Volume31
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Flexibility
  • Shifting
  • Executive function
  • Speed
  • Accuracy
  • Longitudinal patterns
  • EXECUTIVE FUNCTION
  • PRESCHOOL-CHILDREN
  • DEVELOPMENTAL-CHANGES
  • WORKING-MEMORY
  • INHIBITION
  • READINESS
  • CHILDHOOD
  • SKILLS
  • PERSEVERATION
  • TRAJECTORIES

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