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Child Neuropsychol. 2015;21(3):354-78. doi: 10.1080/09297049.2014.910300. Epub 2014 May 9.

Sociodemographic risk and early environmental factors that contribute to resilience in executive control: A factor mixture model of 3-year-olds.

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  • 1a Department of Psychology and Office of Research , University of Nebraska-Lincoln , Lincoln , NE , USA.


Young children at sociodemographic risk generally demonstrate lower executive control (EC), although with substantial heterogeneity across children. Given this marked variability, there may be some at-risk children who display higher EC and may be buffered from or resilient to the effects of sociodemographic risk who can be studied to identify the contributory factors. In this study, factor mixture modelling was used to determine whether subgroups of 3-year-old children existed based on their observed performance on a battery of EC tasks. Results indicated 2 latent groups: One characterized by lower EC and the other by higher EC. Both sociodemographically at-risk and low-risk children were represented in each group, yielding 4 risk-status-by-EC groups, where at-risk higher EC children were termed the resilient group. Proximal household enrichment (e.g., exposure to learning materials, varied enriching experiences, academic and language stimulation, parental responsivity) distinguished the resilient group from lower performing children of similar risk status, whereas distal financial resources and proximal social network resources did not distinguish these two groups. Results suggest potential intervention targets to promote optimal EC development, particularly among children at risk.


Executive control; Factor mixture modelling; Preschool; Resilience; Sociodemographic risk

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