Metacognition and Learning

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 151–173 | Cite as

Executive functioning, metacognition, and self-perceived competence in elementary school children: an explorative study on their interrelations and their role for school achievement

  • Claudia M. RoebersEmail author
  • Patrizia Cimeli
  • Marianne Röthlisberger
  • Regula Neuenschwander


In the present study, associations between executive functioning, metacognition, and self-perceived competence in the context of early academic outcomes were examined. A total of 209 children attending first grade were initially assessed in terms of their executive functioning and academic self-concept. One year later, children’s executive functioning, academic self-concept, metacognitive monitoring and control, as well as their achievement in mathematics and literacy were evaluated. Structural equation modeling revealed that executive functioning was significantly related to metacognitive control, both cross-sectionally and longitudinally, and that self-concept was substantially associated with metacognitive monitoring, both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. Individual differences in executive functioning and metacognitive control were significantly related to academic outcomes, with metacognitive control appearing to yield a more circumscribed influence on academic outcomes (only literacy) compared to executive functioning (literacy and mathematics).


Metacognition Monitoring Control Executive functions Self-concept School achievement Self-regulation 


Authors’ Note

The present study was partially financed by the Jacobs Foundation Zürich (project “Transition to School”; PI: Claudia M. Roebers). We wish to thank the participating children, and gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of the children’s teachers and principals. We also wish to thank the student research assistants who helped with data collection and Uli Orth for teaching us structural equation modeling techniques.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claudia M. Roebers
    • 1
    Email author
  • Patrizia Cimeli
    • 1
  • Marianne Röthlisberger
    • 1
  • Regula Neuenschwander
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Cognition, Learning, and Memory & School of PsychologyUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland

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