what the ef! executive functions: emotional control

by Laurie Moore Skillings, SCAC

Executive Functions Skill: Emotional Control

Executive functions skills are brain-based skills that we all use when performing tasks. Executive functions are primary located in the prefrontal lobes of the cerebral cortex. Executive function skills begin developing during infancy and continue to develop over time (Barkley, Russell A. ADHD and the nature of self-control. The Guilford Press, 1997. Print.). They do not necessarily develop at the same rate for some children as they may develop for others.

Emotional Control, according to Dawson and Guare (Dawson, Peg, and Richard Guare. Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents: A Practical Guide to Assessment and Intervention. 2nd. The Guilford Press, 2010. Print. ), is the ability to manage emotions in order to achieve goals, complete tasks, or control and direct behavior.

Emotional Control can be seen in infants who have learned how to soothe themselves. It can been seen when a teen keeps their “cool” if they’re being provoked to do something that might be harmful to them.

When a teen has difficulties with emotional control, it may present in some of the following ways:

Difficulty with competition: athletic or academic
Difficulty handling change in plans
Hard time taking the word No for an answer
Not handling criticism well
Feeling anxious before a test

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