Executive functioning in children, and its relations with reasoning, reading, and arithmetic
The aims of this study were to investigate whether the executive functions, inhibition, shifting, and updating, are distinguishable as latent variables (common factors) in children aged 9 to 12, and to examine the relations between these executive functions and reading, arithmetic, and (non)verbal reasoning. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to decompose variance due to the executive and the non-executive processing demands of the executive tasks. A Shifting factor and an Updating factor, but not an Inhibition factor, were distinguishable after controlling for non-executive variance. Updating was related to reading, arithmetic, and (non)verbal reasoning. Shifting was mainly related to non-verbal reasoning and reading. However, in terms of variance explained, arithmetic and reading were primarily related to the non-executive processing demands of the executive measures. The results are discussed in light of the “task impurity problem”.