INFAD (2019-12-01)

Neuropsychological and behavioural executive functioning and lexical access: A longitudinal study

  • Laura Abellán Roselló,
  • Anna Pallotti Romero,
  • Jessica Mercader Ruiz,
  • Rebeca Siegenthaler Hierro

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 1, no. 2
pp. 441 – 450


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Executive functioning (EF) seems to be essential to promote optimal development of lexical access and to prevent its difficulties. Traditionally, neuropsychological tests administered under strict laboratory conditions have been used for evaluation. Recently the ecological validity of these tests has been questioned on the basis of the multiple differences between a structured assessment environment and real life. In an attempt to correct this limitation, the objective of this longitudinal study is to analyze the relationship between the EF, evaluated in the kindergarteners last year through behavioral tests, and lexical access to evaluated at the end of the second year of Primary Education. It also analyzes the differences in the EF evaluated in the first moment between students with and without problems of lexical access two years later. A total of 179 subjects (49.2% girls and 50.8% boys) participated and were evaluated in two stages. In T1, 3rd year of Kindergarten, the mean age was 70.24 months (DS = 3.54; range 5-6 years) and in T2, 2nd year of Primary Education, 94.17 months (DS = 3.60; range 7-8 years). Parents and teachers completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF; Gioia et al., 2000). For the evaluation of lexical access, the main indexes of word reading and pseudo-words of the Battery for the Evaluation of Reading Processes, Revised (PROLEC-R; Cuetos et al., 2007) were used. The results show a relationship between EF and subsequent lexical access, especially with the behavioural assessment of teachers, highlighting the predictive power of the metacognition index. The results also show that children with difficulties present greater problems in practically all of the executive functions analysed. The theoretical and practical implications of the results are discussed.