27 Feb

PhD Defence Elisabeth Jorinde Marie De Neubourg

Supervisors: Prof. dr. Lex Borghans, Prof. dr. Maria Jansen

Co-supervisor: Dr. K.M. Coppens

Keywords: cognitive development; executive functions; primary school; inequalities

"Cognitive development, school achievement and parental inequalities among primary school aged children: A focus on executive functions"

Taking an overarching view of the available academic literature and the results of the studies in this dissertation, a valuable addition can be made to the existing knowledge on the connections and dynamic relationship between executive functioning and other input factors and actors that influence possible life outcomes of children. This could lead to effective policy in (early) childhood education that aims to break the intergenerational cycle of inequality. Despite many decades of investments in minimizing social inequalities among school-aged children, children from lower-educated parents are still overrepresented among lower ranges of school achievement scores. One of the major findings of this dissertation is that differences in executive functioning could not explain the differences among socioeconomic groups. This finding implies that a potential training program for executive functions might work, regardless of whether parallel socioeconomic problems are addressed or not.

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