Relationship between executive function and behavior problems in preschoolers.


Objective: To examine the relationship between executive functions (EF) and behavioral problems in Chinese preschoolers. Methods: A total of 333 Chinese preschool-age children and their mothers and teachers participated in this study. Children’s EF were assessed by EF-Touch Program and maternal-report on Behavioral Rating inventory of Executive Function-Preschooler Version, and children’s behavior problems was assessed by maternal-report and teacher-report on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Results: 1 Correlations between two types of measures on child EF were low; 2 Child EF by EF-Touch Program was not related to conduct problems after controlling for hyperactivity, but it was still significantly related to hyperactivity after controlling for conduct problems; 3 Working memory and inhibition by maternal-report were more strongly related to child behavior problems than those by EF-Touch Program; 4Working memory and attention shift by EF-Touch Program were more significantly related to hyperactivity for boys than for girls. Conclusions: Child EF is negatively associated with behavior problems, particularly with hyperactivity.