Executive function and children's social competence: The role of inhibitory control
Recent interest in the development of executive function in children is largely due to the critical role of these processes in self-regulation. The ability to inhibit inappropriate emotional or behavioral responses is believed to play an important role in children's social competence. However, measurement of distinct cognitive components of executive functioning can be problematic. Of critical importance is research that establishes the construct validity of measures purported to measure components of executive function. Due to the rapid maturation of frontal structures and corresponding advancements in executive competencies, it is also necessary to develop measures that are appropriate for children at each stage of development. The current study provides evidence that an adapted Go/No-Go task is developmentally appropriate for measuring inhibitory control in 6 to 7-year-old children. The present study also provides limited evidence of construct validity of the Go/No-Go task due to modest correlations between task performance and behavioral ratings. Although the Go/No-Go task was not a strong predictor for social outcomes, behavior ratings of inhibitory control significantly predicted prosocial behavior lending support for hypothesized relations.
0451: Social psychology
0384: Behaviorial sciences