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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Journal of Cognition and Development

For a Special Issue on
Development of Executive Function: Theoretical Issues

Abstract deadline
01 March 2022

Manuscript deadline
31 July 2022

Cover image - Journal of Cognition and Development

Special Issue Editor(s)

Ulrich Mueller, University of Victoria
[email protected]

Sabine Doebel, George Mason University
[email protected]

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Development of Executive Function: Theoretical Issues

The Journal of Cognition and Development is inviting abstracts for submission to a special issue on theoretical issues in the study of executive function and its development. Over the last three decades, there has been an explosion of research on executive function in children. Numerous tasks have been developed to measure executive function in developmentally appropriate ways, and the (factor) structure of executive function has been examined extensively. Furthermore, associations between executive function and a variety of variables have been explored to understand interindividual differences in executive function (e.g., socioeconomic status, parenting, physical exercise), and to identify effects of executive function on a range of psychological outcomes (e.g., academic achievement, mental health). Finally, the role of executive function in developmental conditions (e.g., autism, ADHD) has received considerable attention, along with efforts to design interventions that promote executive function.

These lines of research have produced a wealth of empirical findings. However, research on executive function has often failed to consider bigger theoretical questions and issues that could substantially advance knowledge on how executive function develops and can be supported in those who struggle with it.

This special issue focuses on the theoretical issues in the development of executive function in infants, children, and adolescents. In particular, we welcome theoretical and theory-guided empirical papers that:

  • Propose ways of conceptualizing the development of executive function in terms of underlying mechanisms (e.g., differentiation and integration) and developmental sequences (i.e., how executive function skills systematically build on each other);
  • Use a process-oriented approach to conceptualize the dynamic interplay of executive function and other cognitive, conceptual, and experiential (e.g., stress) processes;
  • Discuss the appropriateness of comparing children across contexts and cultures in terms of their performance on executive function tasks (e.g., challenging the deficit model as it is applied to young children, children from economically-disadvantaged backgrounds and children from diverse cultural backgrounds);
  • Propose innovative ways to measure executive function in meaningful contexts, in the laboratory and beyond;
  • Draw out the implications of different conceptualizations of executive function for applied contexts (e.g., intervention).

Submissions do not need to include original empirical data, but they can be included in support of proposed theoretical models. Similarly, we welcome submissions that attempt to connect theoretical ideas to the existing extensive empirical literature on executive function development, and use interdisciplinary approaches.

The timeline for the special issue is as follows:

  • Submission of 500-word abstract: March 1, 2022;
  • Invitation of submission of full manuscripts: March 15, 2022;
  • Deadline for submission of full manuscripts: July 31, 2022;

Submission Instructions

Please send your abstract to Ulrich Mueller ([email protected]).

Select "Development of Executive Function: Theoretical Issues" when submitting your full manuscript to ScholarOne.

The special issue is scheduled for publication in 2023 but papers may be available online earlier, as they are accepted and copy-edited.

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article

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