Infant and Child Development

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Infant and Child Development - Early View Articles, Pages ${blockparams.parentJournalIssue.pageRange}

Profiles of executive functions and social skills in the transition to school: A person‐centred approach


Whether a child is ready for school is of interest for different parties involved. With a person‐centred approach, the present study examined 123 kindergarteners (59 girls, 64 boys) regarding their early executive functions and social skills profiles. Children were 6–7 years of age at the first measurement point (M = 6; 6, SD = 4.22, range = 5; 8–7; 8). One year later, at the end of first grade, they were 7–8‐years old (M = 7; 6, SD = 4.11, range = 6; 9–8; 8). Four different profiles were identified. The profiles did not differ on demographic dimensions or socioeconomic status but appeared to be related to academic achievement and school adjustment at the end of the first grade 1 year later. Profiles with high executive functions showed the greatest predictive validity, independent of their social skills. However, greater social skills seemed to serve as a compensator in the profile with lower executive functions. The resulting profiles have theoretical and practical relevance, when discussing the question what a child needs to be “ready” for school.


  • A person‐centered approach to children's school readiness with 123 kindergarteners.
  • Low executive functions can partially be compensated with high social skills. This compensation was stronger for school adjustment than for academic achievement.
  • Cognitive and social aspects of a child's development should be considered by teachers and practitioners.

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