Objectives: We aimed to compare the executive function (EF) skills between children with typical development (TD) and children with poor vocabulary (PV), and to explore how and what kinds of connections exist between the three components of the EF system and language abilities, including vocabulary knowledge and reading ability, in two groups. Methods: Twenty children with TD and 15 children with PV were assessed via tests of working memory, inhibition, and shifting in both verbal and nonverbal modalities, and standardized vocabulary and reading tests were also administered. Results: Comparisons between the two groups revealed that both groups performed comparably on all EF tasks except for the digit n-back task, with the TD group having a higher accuracy than the PV group. Correlational analyses revealed the significant relationships between language abilities (reading and vocabulary knowledge) and verbal working memory as well as between vocabulary knowledge and shifting for the TD group, whereas no relationship between language abilities and EF was found in the PV group. Conclusion: These findings highlight the different relationships between EF and language abilities in two groups, while showing close links between language abilities and EF only for the TD group. This suggests that EF systems may not be efficiently involved in language related abilities in children with PV.
- Executive function
- Poor vocabulary