Executive function and the promotion of social-emotional competence

Nathaniel R. Riggs, Laudan B. Jahromi, Rachel P. Razza, Janean E. Dillworth-Bart, Ulrich Mueller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

287 Scopus citations


Executive function is understood as an umbrella term encompassing a number of interrelated sub-skills necessary for purposeful, goal-directed activity. Research suggests a vital role for executive function in children's social-emotional development. However, executive function is rarely considered in models of intervention programs that attempt to promote social-emotional competence. This article reviews the literature linking executive function to children's social-emotional development, and proposes three testable models by which executive function may affect interventions: As a mediator, moderator, and outcome of intervention effects. Finally, the paper discusses important implications and future directions for this research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-309
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Executive function
  • Intervention
  • Social-emotional competence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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