Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education




Early Childhood Education

Capstone Instructor

Dr. Kelly Sadlovsky

Second Reader

Dr. Tamara Nuttall


executive function, self-regulation, parental influence, developmentally appropriate practices, home environment, school environment


The development of executive function (EF) skills in young children is influenced by multiple factors; therefore, this paper focused on the association between home and school environmental influences. EF skills include working memory, inhibitory control, and attention or set-shifting cognitive abilities (Garon et al., 2008, as cited in Bernier, Carlson, Deschênes, & Matte-Gagné, 2012). It is important for parents and teachers to understand what EF skills are so these skills can be modeled for children. Parents and teachers also need to provide opportunities for children to practice these skills. With support from parents and other caregivers, children can learn to regulate emotions, behaviors, and cognitive states within the first three years, which leads to developmental changes from infancy and childhood to voluntary regulation of emotions and actions by the child (Williams & Berthelsen, 2017). Research was analyzed and synthesized for this paper providing an overview of literature on EF skills of young children, focusing on home and school environmental influences. Previous EF studies offered insight on home and school environments, positive and negative effects on EF development (academics and behavior), and suggested interventions. Understanding the relationship between developing EF skills, factors influencing them, and the three main EF components allows parents and teachers the opportunity to assist children in the development of EF skills. Research connecting regulatory competencies with academic achievement, social-emotional competence, and behavioral adjustment pointed out the importance of familial factors that can influence the development of self-regulation in young children. This knowledge can assist with prevention and intervention strategies for helping children with self-regulation (Zeytinoglu, Calkins, Swingler, & Leerkes, 2017).

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