Executive functioning in children, and its relations with reasoning, reading, and arithmetic

Sophie van der Sluis, Peter F. de Jong, Aryan van der Leij, S. van der Sluijs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

373 Citations (Scopus)


The aims of this study were to investigate whether the executive functions, inhibition, shifting, and updating, are distinguishable as latent variables (common factors) in children aged 9 to 12, and to examine the relations between these executive functions and reading, arithmetic, and (non)verbal reasoning. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to decompose variance due to the executive and the non-executive processing demands of the executive tasks. A Shifting factor and an Updating factor, but not an Inhibition factor, were distinguishable after controlling for non-executive variance. Updating was related to reading, arithmetic, and (non)verbal reasoning. Shifting was mainly related to non-verbal reasoning and reading. However, in terms of variance explained, arithmetic and reading were primarily related to the non-executive processing demands of the executive measures. The results are discussed in light of the "task impurity problem".

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-449
Number of pages23
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2007


  • Arithmetic
  • Executive functions
  • Inhibition
  • Reading
  • Reasoning
  • Shifting
  • Updating
  • international

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