Psychological Studies

, Volume 62, Issue 4, pp 421–427 | Cite as

A Comparative Study of Shifting Ability, Inhibitory Control and Working Memory in Monolingual and Bilingual Children

  • Mehdi B. Mehrani
  • Reza Zabihi
Research in Progress


It is now well documented that the linguistic development of bilingual children is, in many respects, different from that of their monolingual peers. Yet, there is substantial evidence in cognitive psychology that the effect of bilingualism is not merely restricted to the linguistic competence of individuals. Recent literature on bilingualism suggests that certain aspects of children’s cognitive development can be positively affected by the bilingual experience. The aim of the present study was to investigate the potential effects of bilingual experience on young children’s executive processing. A total of 67 preschool children belonging to two groups including 36 Persian–Turkish bilingual children and 31 Persian monolingual children participated in the study. They were matched for their verbal proficiency and then were compared on three executive function tasks including shifting ability, inhibitory control and working memory. Results showed that bilingual children outperformed monolinguals on both shifting and inhibitory control tasks. However, both groups performed similarly on working memory tasks. The findings are interpreted in terms of the enhanced ability of bilingual children in various executive functions processing.


Bilingualism Executive functions Inhibitory control Shifting Working memory 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© National Academy of Psychology (NAOP) India 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.English DepartmentUniversity of NeyshaburNeyshaburIran

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