The Relationship Between Executive Functions and Externalizing and Internalizing Behaviors in Mexican Preschoolers

Dev Neuropsychol. 2023 Mar-Apr;48(2):81-96. doi: 10.1080/87565641.2023.2166939. Epub 2023 Jan 13.


Executive functions allow the regulation of behavior and emotions. This study aimed to analyze the association of executive functions with externalizing and internalizing behaviors in 30 Mexican preschoolers with typical development (age M = 53.63 months; SD = 7.83 months; 40% girls) from homes of middle-low socioeconomic status. Behavioral and cognitive measures were used to assess executive functions and analyzed them using robust statistical methods. We found that executive functions are related to externalizing and internalizing behaviors at the behavioral level. Only Forward Digit Span predicts attentional problems. Individual differences in children's cognitive development in a Mexican context were adressed, and they have clinical and educational implications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emotions
  • Executive Function*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Problem Behavior* / psychology