Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education

First Advisor

Toni Linder, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Gloria Miller, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Karen Riley

Fourth Advisor

Duan Zhang


Early mathematics, English language learners, Executive function


This study examined the convergent validity between a third-party rating scale of executive function (EF) and a task-performance measurement of EF; examined the effects of age, gender, and dual language experience on preschool children‘s EF skills (inhibition, working memory (WM), and shifting) and on early mathematical skills; and investigated the contributions of inhibition, WM, and shifting to early mathematical skills. Ninety-two children attending Head Start were assessed. Correlation analyses revealed a number of relationships between the EF rating scale and the EF taskperformance measure. A multivariate analysis of variance revealed a main effect of age on all EF measures and the math assessment and a significant difference between language groups on the measures of inhibition and shifting. Finally, hierarchal regression analyses revealed that WM and inhibition made unique contributions to children‘s early mathematical skills, and vocabulary scores made more contribution to early mathematical skills than either inhibition or WM. These findings extend previous research by (a) highlighting the issues involved with the assessment of EF in young children; (b) further supporting findings of preschool age-related changes in EF; (c) demonstrating EF differences with a DLL population; and (d) highlighting the importance of WM, inhibition, and language to mathematical learning, demonstrating the effects in early childhood. Implications of these findings for EF assessment in young children and prekindergarten curricula are discussed.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Hattie A. Harvey


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

177 p.


Educational psychology