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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Executive Function Improvement of Students With Adverse Childhood Experiences After an Art-Integration Program.


This paper shares the results of an exploratory study that measured the change in Executive Function (EF) skills of At-Risk third-grade students with varying Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) before and after an Arts-Integration (AI) program. Student EF skills were measured using the Minnesota Executive Function Scale (MEFS) and a statistically significant increase in EF skills was observed in the post-test. In addition, a regression analysis was conducted to determine if students with a high level of ACEs improved at a different rate than students with a low level of ACEs and it was found that the number of ACEs was a significant predictor of improvement on the MEFS.  The article describes why students with high ACEs would likely have EF skill deficiencies, why EF skills are important for success in school, and how using the arts in curricula can help develop EF skills in students.

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