Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Beijia Tan



Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Committee Chair

Christian Mueller

Committee Member

Leigh Harrell-Williams

Committee Member

Yeh Hsueh

Committee Member

Yaping Yue


The goals of present study was to examine the differences of Chinese and U.S. young childrens executive function, and to explored the sociocultural variations in Chinese and U.S. young childrens executive function through their interactions with parents at home, and through their interactions with teachers and peers at school. Young childrens executive function was examined through its components, includes working memory, inhibitory control, and cognitive flexibility. The present study recruited 151 preschool and kindergarten aged children from China and 82 children from U.S., one of their parents, and their teachers. I used One-way ANOVAs and a Chi-squared test to investigate the differences of three components of executive function, and five regression models to examine the direct and indirect sociocultural influences on each component of executive function.The results inform that Chinese children performed better on the majority of executive function tasks compared to their U.S. peer, especially on working memory task which showed a significant difference. Mothers and fathers played different roles in childrens development of executive function. And their roles differ between China and the U.S. Peer can also supported childrens development of executive function during interactions. However, family socioeconomic status and teachers supportive behavior were not significant predictors. A clear message from the present research is that it is important to consider sociocultural antecedents that impact childrens development of executive function, when we study executive function of children. Childrens development of executive function is a co-constructing process that situated within its specific sociocultural system. In addition, the present research also provide insights for parents and educators for better understanding and assisting the development of childrens executive function.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest