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Inhibition, set-shifting and working memory in Global Developmental Delay preschool children

  • Authors: Daniela Smirni, Francesco Precenzano, Rosaria M. Magliulo, Palmira Romano, Andrea Bonifacio, Giovanna Gison, Ilaria Bitetti, Maddalena Terracciano, Maria Ruberto, Michele Sorrentino, Marco Carotenuto
  • Publication year: 2018
  • Type: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link:


Executive functions (EFs) allow to planning and voluntarily and autonomously produce targeted behaviors, in unusual or complex conditions in which the automated response schemes are not appropriate or sufficient to achieve behavior goal. The aim of this study was to evaluate EFs in preschool children presenting with Global Developmental Delay (GDD). Fifty-two preschool children participated in this study: 20 GDD childrenand 32 typical developing children (TDC) as control group, enrolled in the schools of Campania and Sicily Regions. All subjects underwent evaluation of the executive functioning through the administration of the Battery for the Assessment of Preschool Executive Functions (BAFE) and the Behavior Rating of Executive Function-Preschool Version (BRIEF-P). The two groups were comparable for age and gender. GDD children showed significantly lower scores in all BAFE subscales and significantly higher in all BRIEF-P subscales compared to TDC controls. EFs are integrated with each other and as many functions are the essential basis for the other basic skills as well as basis for more complex cognitive skills. During childhood, EFs’ difficulties tend to influence not just a single area/expertise but have a global impact that extends to management, development, planning and daily living.