Inhibitory control as a significant predictor of academic performance in Chinese high schoolers

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Studies investigating the relationship between cognitive function and academic performance have recently shifted focus from differences in intelligence to executive function. To date, these studies have focused disproportionately on samples recruited from Western countries, despite evidence in support of cultural differences in the development of executive function. To address this gap, the present study investigated whether differences in two dimensions of executive function, inhibitory and attentional control, could predict academic performance in a sample of Chinese adolescents (n = 42). Participants reported on demographic details and completed both the Simon task and Attention Network Test. Data were analyzed using multiple linear regression controlling for gender, age, SES, English language proficiency, processing speed, and fluid intelligence. Results showed that one index of inhibitory control derived from non-cue trials on the Attention Network Test explained a significant amount of unique variance in academic performance. Our findings provide evidence that executive function, specifically inhibitory control, plays a significant role in academic performance.

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Child Neuropsychology

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