Executive functions in early childhood: The role of maternal and paternal parenting practices

Nicole Lucassen, Rianne Kok, Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marinus H. Van Ijzendoorn, Vincent W.V. Jaddoe, Albert Hofman, Frank C. Verhulst, Mijke P. Lambregtse-Van den Berg, Henning Tiemeier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We investigated the association between mothers' and fathers' harsh parenting and sensitive parenting practices and child's executive functions (EF) in early childhood in 607 families. We focused on three broad dimensions of child EF: Emergent metacognition, inhibitory self-control, and flexibility measured with the parent-reported Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Preschool Version. Less sensitive parenting of the mother and harsher parenting of the father were related to lower scores of emergent metacognition and inhibitory self-control. Parenting was not associated with child flexibility. This study extends previous research on the association between parenting and EF by the focus on the role of the father and demonstrates independent effects of mother and father on child EF. Copyright

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-505
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal of Developmental Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Emergent metacognition
  • Executive function
  • Flexibility
  • Inhibitory self-control
  • Parenting


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