Articulation speaks to executive function: an investigation in 4- to 6-year olds

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Netelenbos, Nicole
Gibb, Robbin L.
Li, Fangfang
Gonzalez, Claudia L. R.
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Frontiers Media
Executive function (EF) and language learning play a prominent role in early childhood development. Empirical research continues to point to a concurrent relation between these two faculties. What has been given little attention, however, is the association between EF and speech articulation abilities in children. This study investigated this relation in children aged 4–6 years. Significant correlations indicated that children with better EF [via parental report of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF)inventory] exhibited stronger speech sound production abilities in the articulation of the “s” and “sh” sounds. Furthermore, regression analyses revealed that the Global Executive Composite (GEC) of EF as measured by the BRIEF, served as a predictor for speech sound proficiency and that speech sound proficiency served as a predictor for the GEC. Together, these results demonstrate the imbricated nature of EF and speech sound production while bearing theoretical and practical implications. From a theoretical standpoint, the close link between EF and speech articulation may indicate a common ontogenetic pathway. From a practical perspective, the results suggest that children with speech difficulties could be at higher risk for EF deficits.
Sherpa Romeo green journal: open access
Speech articulation , Executive function , BRIEF , Fricative production , Cognition , Child development , Language development
Netelenbos, N., Gibb, R. L., Li, F., & Gonzalez, C. L. R. (2018). Articulation speaks to executive function: An investigation in 4- to 6- year olds. Frontiers in Psychology, 9(172). doi:10.3389/fpsyg.201800172