The efficacy of different interventions to foster children's executive function skills: A series of meta-analyses.

  title={The efficacy of different interventions to foster children's executive function skills: A series of meta-analyses.},
  author={Zsofia K. Takacs and Reka Kassai},
  journal={Psychological bulletin},
  volume={145 7},
In the present meta-analysis all available evidence regarding the efficacy of different behavioral interventions for children's executive function skills were synthesized. After a systematic search we included experimental studies aiming to enhance children's (up to 12 years of age) executive functioning with neurodevelopmental tests as outcome measures. The results of 100 independent effect sizes in 90 studies including data of 8,925 children confirmed that it is possible to foster these… 

Tables from this paper

Is Cognitive Training Effective for Improving Executive Functions in Preschoolers? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Cognitive training programs for preschoolers are significantly more effective for developmentally at-risk children (ADHD or low socio-economic status) than for children with typical development and without risks.
The efficacy of executive function interventions in children with autism spectrum disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Different approaches can be used for improving EF intervention, with positive effects on working memory, behavior, and flexibility, in children and adolescents with ASD.
Promoting EF With Preschool Interventions: Lessons Learned From 15 Years of Conducting Large-Scale Studies
Four intervention approaches designed to support school readiness that may also improve children's EF skills by encouraging adaptive classroom behaviors, improving social-emotional learning, promoting play and direct training of EF skills, and improving cognitive skills related to EF are reviewed.
The Effects of Exercise Interventions on Executive Functions in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
Chronic exercise interventions appear to have beneficial effects on overall EFs in children and adolescents with ASD, particularly in relation to cognitive flexibility and inhibitory control.
The impact of exercise interventions concerning executive functions of children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactive disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis
It is indicated that exercise interventions improved overall executive functions of children and adolescents with ADHD and chronic sessions of exercise interventions with moderate intensity should be incorporated as treatment for children with ADHD.
The effect of mindfulness-based interventions on inattentive and hyperactive–impulsive behavior in childhood: A meta-analysis
Current research has reported the beneficial effects of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) on general domains of cognition and behavior among children. The present study is the first
A preliminary randomized, controlled trial of executive function training for children with autism spectrum disorder
The initial findings suggest that short executive function training activities are feasible and may improve some functioning of school-aged children on the autism spectrum.
A Meta-Analysis of the Experimental Evidence on the Near- and Far-Transfer Effects Among Children’s Executive Function Skills
The present meta-analysis finds no convincing evidence of far-transfer effects of training components of children’s executive functions skills: working memory, inhibitory control, and cognitive flexibility and questions the practical relevance of training specific executive function skills in isolation.
Promoting Third Graders’ Executive Functions and Literacy: A Pilot Study Examining the Benefits of Mindfulness vs. Relaxation Training
Examination of the effects of a mindfulness training on third graders’ proximal and distal outcomes, namely, attention and executive functions as well as literacy-related achievement, concludes that children receiving mindfulness training had higher handwriting fluency and better grades in Portuguese than those receiving relaxation training.


Is it possible to promote executive functions in preschoolers? A case study in Brazil
Executive functions (EF) provide top-down control of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Such abilities are related to learning, emotional control, and adjustment. A promising line of research on EF
Improving executive functions in 5- and 6-year-olds: Evaluation of a small group intervention in prekindergarten and kindergarten children
Research suggests a central role of executive functions for children's cognitive and social development during preschool years, especially in promoting school readiness. Interventions aiming to
The Promotion of Executive Functioning in a Brazilian Public School: A Pilot Study
The results show that EF can be promoted using classroom intervention in public schools in Latin America and expand previous findings for Latin America.
Is working memory training effective? A meta-analytic review.
It is concluded that memory training programs appear to produce short-term, specific training effects that do not generalize, and cast doubt on both the clinical relevance of working memory training Programs and their utility as methods of enhancing cognitive functioning in typically developing children and healthy adults.
Improving executive function in childhood: evaluation of a training intervention for 5-year-old children
The results suggest the possibility that this intervention, which may be easily implemented in educational services, can promote EF during preschool period before the entrance in primary school.
Efficacy of Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Attention and Executive Function in Children and Adolescents—a Systematic Review
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions including mindful movements such as yoga on attention and executive function in children and adolescents.
Improving Young Children’s Social and Emotional Competence: A Randomized Trial of the Preschool “PATHS” Curriculum
After exposure to PATHS, intervention children had higher emotion knowledge skills and were rated by parents and teachers as more socially competent compared to peers, and teachers rated intervention children as less socially withdrawn at the end of the school year compared to controls.
Promoting prosocial behavior and self-regulatory skills in preschool children through a mindfulness-based Kindness Curriculum.
Findings support the promise of a 12-week mindfulness-based Kindness Curriculum delivered in a public school setting for promoting self-regulation and prosocial behavior in young children and support the need for future investigation of program implementation across diverse settings.
Randomized controlled effectiveness trial of executive function intervention for children on the autism spectrum.
These data support the effectiveness of the first contextually-based EF intervention for children with ASD, and suggest individuals with variable background/training in ASD successfully implemented UOT in mainstream educational settings.