SAFER Training Programme (English)

Life Skills Theoretical Background – Building Self-Regulatory Skills (ii)

A key concept within the self-regulation literature are the Executive Functioning Skills (EFS), i.e. an umbrella term for higher order cognitive processes in the prefrontal cortex, such as working memory, inhibitory control, and attention flexibility. Mounting evidence suggests that EFS predict academic achievement (Moffitt et al., 2011), social–emotional competence (Diamond, 2012), and long-term life success. EFS strengthen significantly throughout childhood and adolescence and can be influenced by environmental enrichment. The late childhood years, just before the transitional period of puberty, are a time of considerable synaptic overproduction in the prefrontal cortex and this appears to set the stage for advances in EFS.