This systematic review examined to what extent response demands of executive functioning (EF) tasks influence the relationship between motor performance and EF in 2- to 6-year-old typically developing (TD) children and children with motor coordination difficulties (MCD). Eighteen of the included articles focused on TD children only and three also on children with MCD. EF tasks were subdivided based on the type of responses (i.e., motor or verbal). EF tasks requiring a motor response were subdivided into two levels (i.e., complex or simple). Results showed that the relationship between motor performance and EF in 2- to 6-year-old TD children and children with MCD was inconclusive with the strength of correlation coefficients for the most part varying from very weak to moderate. The type of EF task response did not influence the relationship between motor performance and EF. The review thus implies that other task demands than the type of EF task response need to be investigated to explain the inconsistent relationship between motor performance and EF, such as the complexity of the motor response of EF tasks, the complexity of the actual motor tasks, and additional processes (e.g., memory, intelligence, language comprehension).
- Early childhood
- Executive function
- Motor coordination
- Motor performance
- TYPICALLY DEVELOPING-CHILDREN