A Latent Variable Approach to Determining the Structure of Executive Function in Preschool Children

The composition of executive function (EF) in preschool children was examined using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). A sample of 129 children between 3 and 5 years of age completed a battery of EF tasks. Using performance indicators of working memory and inhibition similar to previous CFA studies with preschoolers, we replicated a unitary EF factor structure. Next, additional performance indicators were included to distinctly measure working memory, set shifting, and inhibition factors. A two-factor model consisting of working memory and inhibition fit the data better than both a single-factor model and a three-factor model. Findings suggest that the structure of EF in preschoolers that emerges from CFA is influenced by task and performance indicator selection.
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in the Journal of Cognition and Development on [20/11/2015], available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/15248372.2011.585478
Miller, M., Giesbrecht, G.F., McInerney, J., Kerns, K., & Müller, U. (2012). A latent variable approach to determining the structure of executive function in preschool children. Journal of Cognition and Development, 13, 395-423.