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Objective: This study was explore executive functions of preschool-aged children, to examine the relationships between, receptive language development, parenting behaviors, parental stress, and executive functions of preschool-aged children.
Design: Correlational study design.
Methodology: The sample was 100 pairs of parents/guardians and their preschool-aged children aged 3-5 years who attended three childcare centres or kindergartens in Ban Pong district, Ratchaburi province. The data-collecting instruments were 1) a personal information questionnaire; 2) the Alabama Parenting Questionnaire (APQ); 3) the 10-item Perceived Stress Scale (T-PSS-10); and 4) the MU-EF 101 form for preschool-aged children The receptive and expressive language development was screened using the Developmental Surveillance and Promotion Manual (DSPM). The data were analysed using the Mann Whitney
U test and Spearman’s correlation analysis.
Results: Preschool-aged children participating in the study displayed a very high standardised T score for executive functions (M = 61.59, SD = 8.18). Their receptive and expressive language development was in positive correlation with their executive functions (Z = 3.36 and 5.059, p < .001, respectively). The parents’ punitive/corporal behaviour was positively correlated with the children’s executive functions (r = .27, p < .05), whereas the parents’ stress was negatively correlated with the children’s executive functions (r = -.44, p < .01).
Recommendations: Healthcare personnel should cooperate with teachers and child caregivers to enhance parents/guardians’ knowledge and understanding of how to effectively promote development of executive functions in preschool-aged children. Together, teachers, caregivers and parents/guardians should be encouraged to jointly screen children's development. Furthermore, assess parenting behaviors and parental stress when the parents bring their children to receive health services.
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