A team of researchers recently investigated “whether and to what extent deficits in executive functions increase kindergarten children’s risk for repeated academic difficulties across elementary school” (all quotes are from the original article.)
Executive functions (EF) refer to “cognitive processing impairments relating to self-regulation, organization, and goal-oriented behavior.”
More precisely, three types of EF are theorized to be relate dto children’s academic achievement:
Importantly, this finding held true after controlling for socio-demographic variables.
As noted by the authors, the main conclusion of this study seems to be that early and targeted interventions are necessary for children at risk for academic difficulties.
Reference: Morgan, Farkas, Wang, Hillemeier, Oh, and Maczuga (2018), “Executive function deficits in kindergarten predict repeated academic difficulties across elementary school”, Early Childhood Research Quarterly.