De executieve functies van kinderen met het syndroom van Down
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Background. Little is known about the executive functions (EF) of children with Down syndrome (DS) as only a few studies have examined EF in children with DS. EF can be described as a set of skills that are necessary to execute higher order cognitive processes. EF are important in everyday life, because they enable a person to organize their behaviour. Furthermore, EF are related to academic performance like reading skills and math skills. The aim of this study was to investigate the EF of children with DS. Method. A sample of 135 children participated in this study. The sample consisted of 11 children with DS and 124 toddlers with a comparable mental age. A neuropsychological test battery was administered to examine the EF. Inhibition, selective attention, visuospatial working memory and cognitive flexibility were investigated in this study. Results. The results showed that the DS children scored significantly lower on all tasks that measure EF than the toddlers. Discussion. Children with DS show deficits in their EF. It is important that the EF of children with DS is further investigated in future research using direct measuring instruments. The results of this study ultimately contribute to the current literature regarding the EF of children with DS.