Executive functions (EF) are a set of processes that allow individuals to plan, monitor and organize tasks and thus play a key role in the development of reading and maths skills. Environmental factors such as socioeconomic level (SEL) influence reading and maths skills as well as EFs. The aim of this study is to explore the extent to which executive functions play a mediating role between SEL and reading and maths performance. To this end, we assessed 286 Chilean primary education students: 86 with a high SEL and 200 with a low level. The results show that the high-SEL group obtained consistently higher scores than their peers with low SEL levels in both reading and maths tasks as well as in EF measurements. This suggests that SEL could influence the development of these variables. The results also showed that EFs partially mediate the relation between SEL and reading and maths skills in primary school students through the specific function of inhibition. The results are discussed in light of the effect of SEL on the development of EFs and school learning.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study has been financed through the Fondecyt 1141083 project: Efectos de la
© 2018 Fundacion Infancia y Aprendizaje.
- Cognitive development
- Executive functions
- Socioeconomic level