Development of executive functions through late childhood and adolescence in an Australian sample

Dev Neuropsychol. 2001;20(1):385-406. doi: 10.1207/S15326942DN2001_5.


Although there have been significant theoretical advances in the field of child neuropsychology, developmental features of adolescence have received less attention. Progress in clinical practice is restricted due to a lack of well-standardized, developmentally appropriate assessment techniques. This article addresses these issues in relation to executive skills. These abilities are targeted for 2 reasons: first, because they are often considered to be mature during late childhood and adolescence, despite limited investigation in this age range; and second, because of their central importance to efficient day-to-day functioning. Using a normative sample of 138 children, aged 11.0 to 17.11 years, this article plots the development of executive skills through late childhood and early adolescence and interprets progress in these skills with reference to current neurological and cognitive theory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Australia
  • Child
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Wechsler Scales*