Impacto das condições socioeconómicas no desenvolvimento do funcionamento executivo e na consciência fonológica em crianças do pré escolar

Translated title of the thesis: The impact of the social and economical status in the development of the executive function and phonological awareness in children.
  • Matilde Barrocas Fontes da Veiga (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Theoretical Background: The Executive Functions (EF) and the Phonological Awareness (PA) are essential to the children´s normal development. Its critical period of development occurs during childhood and is highly conditioned by the children´s socioeconomical status (SES), with the risk of under stimulation being higher in poverty contexts. This way, it is imperative to evaluate the SES’ impact in the EF and PA, in order to elaborate intervention programs that aim to stimulate the underdeveloped capacities, diminishing the potential effects of a low SES in the children’s’ normal development. Method: The sample can be divided in two groups: Low SES, with 29 participants, and High SES, with 66 participants, all aged between 4 and 6 years old. To assess de EF we administered The Corsi Block test, Digit Span Backwards, Shape School and Fish and Sharks, and to assess the PA we administered the TICL and ACLLE test. Independent Sample Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney Tests and Linear Regressions were used. Results: The High SES revealed better results in all EF and PA tests, except in one PA task (Phonemical Id- ACLLE), in which the Low SES had better results. The linear regression showed that the Working Memory (WM) predicts PA, but the Inhibitory Control (IC) doesn´t predict PA. Differences were found in IC results, where girls had better results when compared to boys. Discussion: As expected, the High SES’ results were better than in all EF and PA tests (except one PA task. Linear Regression showed WM as a predictor of PA in all measures but one - Phonemical Id-ACLLE - like we saw in other studies It was not possible to establish a relation between WM or IC and the Phonemical Id task (ACLLE). Unlike we expected, linear regression showed no relation between IC and PA. As the literature shows, girls had better results in IC tasks, when compared to boys. The results reinforce the need for cognitive stimulation of the EF and PA, especially in children with low SES.
Date of Award5 Mar 2021
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorMaria Vânia Silva Nunes (Supervisor) & Joana Rodrigues Rato (Co-Supervisor)


  • Executive functions
  • Working memory
  • Phonological awareness
  • SES
  • Neuropsychological assessment


  • Mestrado em Cuidados Paliativos

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