Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 1
  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: October 2012

20 - Reflections on executive functioning

from Section III - Applications

Summary

It can be argued that EF is the most important factor for successful adaptation to the human world. Although there are differing definitions and models for understanding EF (see Chapter 1), researchers and clinicians agree that intact EF skills are necessary for independently living as a responsible member of society who demonstrates appropriate and self-sustaining behavior. There remains debate regarding whether there is a unitary executive function (singular, comparable to a general factor), a non-unitary group of executive functions (plural), or a multifaceted cluster of separable but correlated executive functions; however, all of the currently considered models agree that EF is complex, and multifactorial in its development and influence.

Executive functioning is complex and difficult to define

The challenge with any complex construct is creating a unitary definition or model that can account for all variations (see Chapter 1 for a review of historical and contemporary models). And, with regard to EF, the predominant definitions are filled with seeming contradictions and a focus on what may seem to be extremes of behavior. For example, a person with intact EF is described as flexible, able to adapt to changes in her environment; at the same time, she is persistent, and able to persevere (without becoming perseverative), and capable of self-monitoring and being strategic. This pattern of contrast within the goals of mental flexibility can be applied to skills such as consideration of a plan or goal, attention, concept, response set, even effort. Intact EF is also associated with being able to inhibit as well as initiate – again, seemingly opposite sides of the EF coin.

References
Jurado, MBRosselli, M.The elusive nature of executive functions: a review of our current understandingNeuropsychol Rev 2007 17 213
Friedman, NPMiyake, AYoung, SEDefries, JCCorley, RPHewitt, JK.Individual differences in executive functions are almost entirely genetic in originJ Exp Psychol Gen 2008 137 201
Jester, JMNigg, JTPuttler, LILong, JCFitzgerald, HEZucker, RA.Intergenerational transmission of neuropsychological executive functioningBrain Cogn 2009 70 145
Luria, AR.The Working BrainMiddlesex, EnglandPenguin Books 1973
Arffa, S.The relationship of intelligence to executive function and non-executive function measures in a sample of average, above average, and gifted youthArch Clin Neuropsychol 2007 22 969
Welsh, MCPennington, BFGroisser, DB.A normative-developmental study of executive function: a window on the prefrontal function in childrenDev Neuropsychol 1991 7 131
Ardila, APineda, DRosselli, M.Correlation between intelligence test scores and executive function measuresArch Clin Neuropsychol 2000 15 31
Delis, DLansing, AHouston, WSCreativity lost: the importance of testing higher-level executive functions in school-age children and adolescentsJ Psychoeduc Assessm 2007 25 29
Mahone, EMHagelthorn, KMCutting, LEEffects of IQ on executive function measures in children with ADHDChild Neuropsychol 2002 8 52
Friedman, NPMiyake, ACorley, RPYoung, SEDefries, JCHewitt, JK.Not all executive functions are related to intelligencePsychol Sci 2006 17 172
Foley, JGarcia, JShaw, LGolden, C.IQ predicts neuropsychologicalperformance in childrenInt J Neurosci 2009 119 1830
Danielsson, HHenry, LRönnberg, JNilsson, LG.Executive functions in individuals with intellectual disabilityRes Dev Disabil 2010 31 1299
Brown, TEReichel, Quinlan, DM.Executive function impairments in high IQ children and adolescents with ADHDOpen J Psychiatry 2011 1 56
Anokhin, APGolosheykin, SGrant, JDHeath, AC.Developmental and genetic influences on prefrontal function in adolescents: a longitudinal twin study of WCST performanceNeurosci Letters 2010 472 119
Proctor, AZhang, J.Performance of three racial/ethnic groups on two tests of executive function: clinical implications for traumatic brain injury (TBI)NeuroRehabilitation 2008 23 529
Rhoades, BLGreenberg, MTLanza, STBlair, C.Demographic and familial predictors of early executive function development: contribution of a person-centered perspectiveJ Exp Child Psychol 2011 108 638
Williams, PGSuchy, YRau, HK.Individual differences in executive functioning: implications for stress regulationAnn Behav Med 2009 37 126
Harlow, JM.Recovery from the passage of an iron bar through the headPubl Massachusetts Med Soc 1868 2 327
Posner, MIRothbart, MK 2007 Educating the Human BrainDCAPA
Rothbart, MKPosner, MIKieras, J.Temperament, attention, and the development of self-regulationMcCartney, K.Phillips, D.The Blackwell Handbook of Early Child DevelopmentLondonBlackwell Press 2006 328
Kagan, J.Galen's Prophecy: Temperament in Human NatureCambridge, MAHarvard University Press 1994
Campbell, AMDavalos, DBMcCabe, DPTroup, LJ.Executive functions and extraversionPersonality Indiv Differences 2011 51 720
Arnsten, AF.The biology of being frazzledScience 1998 280 1711
Evans, GWSchamberg, MA.Childhood poverty, chronic stress, and adult working memoryProc Natl Acad Sci USA 2009 106 6545
DePrince, APWeinzierl, KMCombs, MD.Executive function performance and trauma exposure in a community sample of childrenChild Abuse Negl 2009 33 353
Spann, MNMayes, LCKalmar, JH 2011
Talwar, VCarlson, SMLee, K.Effects of a punitive environment on children's executive functioningA natural experiment. Soc Dev 2011 20 805
Moilanen, KLShaw, DSDishion, TJGardner, FWilson, M.Predictors of longitudinal growth in inhibitory control in early childhoodSoc Dev 2009 19 326
Karreman, Avan Tuijl, Cvan Aken, MAG.Deković, M.Parenting and self-regulation in preschoolers: a meta-analysisInf Child Dev 2006 15 561
Mitchell, RLPhillips, LH.The psychological, neurochemical and functional neuroanatomical mediators of the effects of positive and negative mood on executive functionsNeuropsychologia 2007 45 617
Baumeister, RFDeWall, CNCiarocco, NJTwenge, JM.Social exclusion impairs self-regulationJ Pers Soc Psychol 2005 88 589
Hart, RPMartelli, MFZasler, ND.Chronic pain and neuropsychological functioningNeuropsychol Rev 2000 10 131
Solberg Nes, LRoach, ARSegerstrom, SC.Executive functions, self-regulation, and chronic pain: a reviewAnn Behav Med 2009 37 173
Abeare, CACohen, JLAxelrod, BNLeisen, JCMosley-Williams, ALumley, MA.Pain, executive functioning, and affect in patients with rheumatoid arthritisClin J Pain 2010 26 683
Beebe, DW.Cognitive, behavioral, and functional consequences of inadequate sleep in children and adolescentsPediatr Clin North Am 2011 58 649
Beebe, DW. 2011
Bourke, RSAnderson, VYang, JSNeurobehavioral function is impaired in children with all severities of sleep disordered breathingSleep Med 2011 12 222
Ståhle, LStåhle, ELGranström, EIsaksson, SAnnas, PSepp, H.Effects of sleep or food deprivation during civilian survival training on cognition, blood glucose and 3-OH-butyrateWilderness Environ Med 2011 22 202
Waters, FBucks, RS.Neuropsychological Effects of Sleep Loss: Implication for NeuropsychologistsJ Int Neuropsychol Soc 2011 4 1
O'Brien, LM.The neurocognitive effects of sleep disruption in children and adolescentsChild Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am 2009 18 813
Killgore, WDGrugle, NLReichardt, RMKillgore, DBBalkin, TJ.Executive functions and the ability to sustain vigilance during sleep lossAviat Space Environ Med 2009 80 81
Jiang, FVanDyke, RDZhang, JLi, FGozal, DShen, X.Effect of chronic sleep restriction on sleepiness and working memory in adolescents and young adultsJ Clin Exp Neuropsychol 2011 33 892
Tauman, RGozal, D.Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome in childrenExpert Rev Respir Med 2011 5 425
Spruyt, KMolfese, DLGozal, D.Sleep duration, sleep regularity, body weight, and metabolic homeostasis in school-aged childrenPediatrics 2011 127 e345
Chaddock, LPontifex, MBHillman, CHKramer, AF.A review of the relation of aerobic fitness and physical activity to brain structure and function in childrenJ Int Neuropsychol Soc 2011 17 975
Chaddock, LErickson, KIPrakash, RSBasal ganglia volume is associated with aerobic fitness in preadolescent childrenDev Neurosci 2010 32 249
Tomporowski, PDDavis, CLMiller, PHNaglieri, JA.Exercise and children's intelligence, cognition, and academic achievementEduc Psychol Rev 2008 20 111
Davis, CLTomporowski, PDMcDowell, JEExercise improves executive function and achievement and alters brain activation in overweight children: a randomized, controlled trialHealth Psychol 2011 30 91
Hill, LJWilliams, JHAucott, LThomson, JMon-Williams, M.How does exercise benefit performance on cognitive tests in primary-school pupils?Dev Med Child Neurol 2011 53 630
Hackman, DAFarah, MJMeaney, MJ.Socioeconomic status and the brain: mechanistic insights from human and animal researchNat Rev Neurosci 2010 11 651
Hughes, C.Changes and challenges in 20 years of research into the development of executive functionsInf Child Dev 2011 20 251
Carlson, SM.Lewis, CCarpendale, JIMSocial Interaction and the Development of Executive Function. New Directions in Child and Adolescent Development 2009 123 87
Ardila, ARosselli, MMatute, EGuajardo, SThe influence of the parents' educational level on the development of executive functionsDev Neuropsychol 2005 28 539
McCrea, SMMueller, JHParrila, RK.Quantitative analyses of schooling effects on executive function in young childrenChild Neuropsychol 1999 5 242
Burrage, MSPonitz, CCMcCready, EAAge- and schooling-related effects on executive functions in young children: a natural experimentChild Neuropsychol 2008 14 510
Chetty, RFriedman, JNHilger, NSaez, ESchanzenbach, DWYagan, D. 2010
Borghans, LDuckworth, ALHeckman, JJter Weel, B.The economics and psychology of personality traitsJ Hum Resources 2008 43 972
Bowles, SGintis, HOsborne, M.The determinants of earnings: A behavioral approachJ Econ Lit 2001 39 11137
Heckman, JJStixrud, JUrzua, S.The effects of cognitive and noncognitive abilities on labor market outcomes and social behaviorJ Labor Econ 2006 24 411
Cunha, FHeckman, JJ 2010
Lyons, KEZelazo, PD.Monitoring, metacognition, and executive function: elucidating the role of self-reflection in the development of self-regulationAdv Child Dev Behav 2011 40 379
Zogg, JBWoods, SPSauceda, JAWiebe, JSSimoni, JM. 2011
Stilley, CSBender, CMDunbar-Jacob, JSereika, SRyan, CM.The impact of cognitive function on medication management: three studiesHealth Psychol 2010 29 50
Nederkoorn, CJansen, EMulkens, SJansen, A.Impulsivity predicts treatment outcome in obese childrenBehav Res Ther 2007 45 1071
Allan, JLJohnston, MCampbell, N.Missed by an inch or a mile? Predicting the size of intention-behaviour gap from measures of executive controlPsychol Hlth 2011 26 635
Hall, PA. 2011
Davis, C.Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: associations with overeating and obesityCurr Psychiatry Rep 2010 12 389
Pauli-Pott, UAlbayrak, OHebebrand, JPott, W.Association between inhibitory control capacity and body weight in overweight and obese children and adolescents: dependence on age and inhibitory control componentChild Neuropsychol 2010 16 592
Bruce, ASBlack, WRBruce, JMDaldalian, MMartin, LEDavis, AM.Ability to delay gratification and BMI in preadolescenceObesity (Silver Spring) 2011 19 1101
Joseph, RJAlonso-Alonso, MBond, DSPascual-Leone, ABlackburn, GL.The neurocognitive connection between physical activity and eating behaviorObes Rev 2011 12 800
Hall, PAElias, LJFong, GTHarrison, AHBorowsky, RSarty, GE.A social neuroscience perspective on physical activityJ Sport Exerc Psychol 2008 30 432
Blume, AWMarlatt, GA.The role of executive cognitive functions in changing substance use: what we know and what we need to knowAnn Behav Med 2009 37 117
Brega, AGGrigsby, JKooken, RHamman, RFBaxter, J.The impact of executive cognitive functioning on rates of smoking cessation in the San Luis Valley Health and Aging StudyAge Ageing 2008 37 521
Mullan, BWong, CAllom, VPack, SL.The role of executive function in bridging the intention-behavior gap for binge-drinking in university studentsAddict Behav 2011 36 1023
Williams, PGThayer, JF.Executive functioning and health: introduction to the special seriesAnn Behav Med 2009 37 101
Hall, PACrossley, MD'Arcy, C.Executive function and survival in the context of chronic illnessAnn Behav Med 2010 39 119
Moll, JZahn, Rde Oliveira-Souza, RKrueger, FGrafman, J.Opinion: the neural basis of human moral cognitionNat Rev Neurosci 2005 6 799
Barkley, RA.ADHD and the Nature of Self-ControlNew YorkThe Guilford Press 1997
Kelly, KRamundo, P.You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?! A Self-Help Book for Adults with Attention Deficit DisorderNew YorkSimon & Schuster 1993
Hammen, CGoodman-Brown, TSelf-schemas and vulnerability to specific life stress in children at risk for depressionCog Tx and Res 1990 14 215
Jacobs, RReinecke, MGollan, JKane, P.Empirical evidence of cognitive vulnerability for depression among children and adolescents: a cognitive science and developmental perspectiveClin Psychol Rev 2007 28 759
Rostain, ALRamsay, JR.College and high school students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: new directions in assessment and treatmentAmerican College Health Association Professional Development Program – Use and Misuse of Stimulants: A Guide for School Health ProfessionalsEnglishtown, NJPrinceton Media Associates 2006 7
Brinckerhoff, LCShaw, SFMcGuire, JM.Promoting access, accommodations, and independence for college students with learning disabilitiesJ Learn Disabil 1992 25 417
Maitland, TELQuinn, PO.Ready for Take-Off: Preparing Your Teen With ADHD or LD for CollegeWashington, DCMagination Press 2010
Quinn, POMaitland, TEL.On Your Own: A College Readiness Guide for Teens With ADHD/LDWashington, DCMagination Press 2011
Quinn, PORatey, NMaitland, TEL.Coaching College Students with AD/HD: Issues and AnswersSilver Spring, MarylandAdvantage Books 2000
Wolf, LEBrown, JTBork, R.Students with Asperger Syndrome: A Guide for College Personnel. Shawnee MissionKansasAutism Asperger Publishing Company 2009
Harpur, JLawlor, MFitzgerald, M.Succeeding in College with Asperger Syndrome: A Student GuideNew YorkJessica Kingsley Publishers 2004
Freedman, S.Developing College Skills in Students With Autism and Asperger's SyndromeNew YorkJessica Kingsley Publishers 2010
Palmer, A.Realizing the College Dream With Autism or Asperger Syndrome: A Parent's Guide to Student SuccessNew YorkJessica Kingsley Publishers 2006
Chiang, HMCheung, YKHickson, LXiang, RTsai, LY. 2011
Murray, CWren, CT.Cognitive, academic, and attitudinal predictors of the grade point averages of college students with learning disabilitiesJ Learn Disabil 2003 36 407
Troiano, PFLiefeld, J AnnTrachtenberg, JV.Academic support and college success for postsecondary students with learning disabilitiesJ Coll Read Learn 2010 40 35
Ruban, LMMcCoach, DBMcGuire, JMReis, SM.The differential impact of academic self-regulatory methods on academic achievement among university students with and without learning disabilitiesJ Learn Disabil 2003 36 270
Allsopp, DHMinskoff, EHBolt, L.Individualized course-specific strategy instruction for college students with learning disabilities and ADHD: lessons learned from a model demonstration projectLearn Disab Rese Pract 2005 20 103
Skinner, MELindstrom, BD.Bridging the gap between high school and college: strategies for the successful transition of students with learning disabilitiesPreventing School Failure 2003 47 132
Dawson, PGuare, R.Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary “Executive Skills” Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their PotentialNew YorkThe Guilford Press 2009
Cooper-Kahn, JDietzel, L.Late, Lost, and Unprepared: A Parents' Guide to Helping Children with Executive FunctioningBethesda, MDWoodbine House 2008
Teplin, LAAbram, KMMcClelland, GMDulcan, MKMericle, AA.Psychiatric disorders in youth in juvenile detentionArch Gen Psychiatry 2002 59 1133
Washburn, JJTeplin, LAVoss, LSSimon, CDAbram, KMMcClelland, GM.Psychiatric disorders among detained youths: a comparison of youths processed in juvenile court and adult criminal courtPsychiatr Serv 2008 59 965
Ståhlberg, OAnckarsäter, HNilsson, T.Mental health problems in youths committed to juvenile institutions: prevalences and treatment needsEur Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2010 19 893
Satterfield, JHHoppe, CMSchell, AM.A prospective study of delinquency in 110 adolescent boys with attention deficit disorder and 88 normal adolescent boysAm J Psychiatry 1982 139 795
Mannuzza, SKlein, RGMoulton, JLLifetime criminality among boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a prospective follow-up study into adulthood using official arrest recordsPsychiatry Res 2008 160 237
Valliant, PMFreeston, APottier, DKosmyna, R.Personality and executive functioning as risk factors in recidivistsPsychol Rep 2003 92 299
Katsiyannis, ARyan, JBZhang, DSpann, A.Juvenile delinquency and recidivism: the impact of academic achievementRead Writ Quart 2008 24 177
Redondo, SSanchez-meca, JGarrido, V.The influence of treatment programmes on the recidivism of juvenile and adult offenders: a European meta-analytic reviewPsycholo Crime Law 1999 5
Pullmann, MDKerbs, JKoroloff, NVeach-White, EGaylor, RSieler, D.Juvenile offenders with mental health needs: reducing recidivism using wraparoundCrime Delinq 2006 52 375
Banich, MT.Executive function: the search for an integrated accountCurr Directions Psychol Sci 2009 18 89