Early executive and school functioning: Protective roles of home environment by income

Yolanda E. Murphy, Xutong Zhang, Lisa Gatzke-Kopp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study used data from the Family Life Project (N = 1227), a longitudinal study of child development. We tested a three-way interaction in which positive parenting and learning materials in the home from age 6–36 months and family income predicted children's executive functioning (EF) at 58 months. We also tested whether this interaction predicted early school functioning, specifically behavioral and academic skills in the 1st grade. The interactive effects of positive parenting and learning materials differed by family income. For children in families of lower income, more learning materials and positive parenting predicted better EF, and in turn, better early school functioning. For children in families of higher income, only positive parenting significantly predicted EF, which in turn, predicted better early school functioning. Findings suggest that more targeted policy and program support for enrichment and positive parenting may bolster efforts to combat poverty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101369
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this