Scientific article
Open access

How executive functions are associated with event-based and time-based prospective memory during childhood

Published inCognitive Development, vol. 50, p. 66-79
Publication date2019

A key developmental task of childhood is to gain autonomy and independence from parents and caregivers. Critical to this individualization process is the development of prospective memory (PM), the capacity to remember to carry out future intentions. In recent studies, children's PM performance has been associated with executive functions (EF). A closer inspection of the literature, however, suggests a differential impact of the three EF (updating, inhibition, and shifting) across different PM task types. The current study examined EF and PM capacities of 212 6- to 11-year-old children, examining for the first time both focal and nonfocal event-based PM tasks as well as a time-based PM task in a single sample. Results show that age-differences did not persist above and beyond age differences in children's executive resources. Specifically, updating predicted children's performance on all PM tasks, inhibition predicted performance on both event-based PM tasks, whereas shifting was specifically deployed by the nonfocal event-based task. Supplementary analyses of the time-based PM task illustrate how children monitor the progression of time and how preparatory processes support PM task performance. In sum, the current study presents the first comprehensive look at the specific role of age and three core EF in school-aged children's PM performance.

  • Prospective memory
  • Development
  • Children
  • School-age
  • Executive functions
  • Time-based
  • Focal
  • Nonfocal
Citation (ISO format)
ZUBER, Sascha, MAHY, Caitlin, KLIEGEL, Matthias. How executive functions are associated with event-based and time-based prospective memory during childhood. In: Cognitive Development, 2019, vol. 50, p. 66–79. doi: 10.1016/j.cogdev.2019.03.001
Main files (2)
Article (Published version)
Article (Accepted version)
ISSN of the journal0885-2014

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