Independent and compensatory contributions of executive functions and challenge preference for students’ adaptive classroom behaviors

Year of Publication: 
2017

This study examined the unique contributions and interplay of children's executive function (EF) skills and challenge preference for adaptive classroom behaviors. The sample included socioeconomically and ethnically diverse third, fourth, and fifth grade students (N = 334, M = 9.30 years). EFs were directly assessed using tablet tasks in the classroom setting, challenge preference was measured with self-report questionnaires, and teachers reported on students' classroom behaviors. Both EFs and challenge preference independently predicted students' task orientation, assertiveness, peer social skills, and frustration tolerance, whereas only EFs were linked to students' conduct problems. Further, challenge preference emerged as a significant moderator of the association between EFs and students' assertiveness. Specifically, EFs were more strongly associated with students' assertiveness among students with low challenge preference. Implications include structuring classrooms to promote challenge preference by focusing on effort and learning.

Primary Research Area:

APA Citation

Finch, J., & Obradović, J. (2017). Independent and compensatory contributions of executive functions and challenge preference for students’ adaptive classroom behaviors.