Vol. 14 nº 2 - Apr/May/Jun de 2020
Original Article Páginas: 194 a 199

Relationship between executive functions and academic performance among Moroccan middle school students

Authors Mounir Bouzaboul1; Abdeslam Amri1; Zakaria Abidli2; Hassan Saidi2; Noureddine Faiz1; Rabea Ziri1; Ahmed Ahami1


keywords: executive functions, learning difficulties, middle school, Morocco.

Executive functions (EF) play a central role in the development of social and cognitive skills and academic learning.
OBJECTIVE: For this reason, this study aims to determine the relationship between executive functions and academic performance among middle school students in the Middle Atlas of Morocco.
METHODS: This study focuses on 137 middle school students studying at four colleges located in the Middle Atlas of Morocco. The sample studied was divided into two groups: the first consisting of students with learning difficulties; and the second considered a control. To assess EF, three tests were administered to learners in both groups (Tracking Test, Stroop Test and Number Span Test).
RESULTS: In the sample, average age of the learners was 14.5±1.3 years and sex ratio was balanced. The students with learning difficulties had lower performance on tests measuring cognitive flexibility, inhibitory processes and working memory compared to the control group.
CONCLUSION: From these results, it can be concluded that students with learning disabilities performed poorly on the three basic components of executive functions. Therefore, thorough neuropsychological diagnosis would be desirable to identify learners who may have cognitive or behavioural disorders and allow adequate intervention to improve their executive functions and subsequently their
academic success.


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