Executive Function in SLI: Recent Advances and Future Directions

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76 Scopus citations


This paper provides a review of recent research on executive function abilities in children with specific language impairment (SLI). Across several studies, children with SLI are reported to perform worse than typically developing peers on measures of sustained attention, working memory, inhibition, and attention shifting. However, few studies have considered multiple executive function components simultaneously and even fewer have examined the underlying relationship between executive function deficits and impaired language acquisition. We argue that in order to fully understand the nature of executive function deficits in SLI, the field must move past simply identifying weaknesses to instead test models of executive function development and explore the nature of the relationship between executive function and language. Future research directions are recommended in order to achieve these goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-252
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Developmental Disorders Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Attention
  • Attention shifting
  • Cognitive development
  • Executive function
  • Inhibition
  • Specific language impairment
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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