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Cadernos de Pós-Graduação em Distúrbios do Desenvolvimento

Print version ISSN 1519-0307On-line version ISSN 1809-4139


TOMAZ, Raquel Ferreira dos Santos  and  LEON, Camila Barbosa Riccardi. Interventions in executive functions in early childhood: literature review. Cad. Pós-Grad. Distúrb. Desenvolv. [online]. 2021, vol.21, n.1, pp. 9-23. ISSN 1519-0307.

Executive functions are important mental skills that regulate behavior, cognition and emotion, besides helping in the achievement of goals. The early childhood comprises children and babies whose ages range from zero to three years old. It is a sensitive period for the development of different cognitive skills since the structural basis for the brain development is also built in the first years of life. Studies pointed out that the development of executive functions can be seen in the first months of life, which suggests the possibility of early preventive intervention. Therefore, this study was anchored in a literature review aiming at gathering scientific evidence on executive functions in early preventive interventions at early childhood education whose attendee's ages vary from zero to three years old. We used the Biblioteca Virtual em Saúde (BVS), PudMed, Scielo, Education Resouces Information (Eric) and Periódicos Eletrônicos em Psicologia (Pepsic) databases. After applying the eligibility criteria, only one experimental article was found with an intervention program based on language training for children aged 26 to 31 months. The intervention study revealed that language training caused a positive impact on executive functions. Most of the other papers found focused on evaluating executive functions in babies and young children with atypical development, as well as identifying the power of nutritional supplements for the cognitive development in low-income children. Thus, the present study showed a lack of studies regarding the theme of this research. Considering the relevance of executive functions in child development and the need of early preventive practices, it is important to point out that future research should be conducted, in order to promote the executive functions in early childhood.

Keywords : Child development; Education; Child; Cognition.

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