Executive Functioning in Children and Adolescents Prenatally Exposed to Alcohol: A Meta-Analytic Review

Prenatal alcohol exposure is associated with a constellation of adverse physical, neurocognitive and behavior outcomes, which comprise a continuum of disorders labeled Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Extant research has consistently identified executive functions (EF) as a central impairment associated with FASD. Despite this, heterogeneity exists regarding the strength of the association between FASD and different EF, and this association has not yet been quantitatively synthesized. The current meta-analysis reviews 46 studies that compare children and adolescents with FASD to participants without FASD, on a variety of EF measures. In accordance with Miyake et al. Cognitive Psychology, 41, 49-100 (2000) three-factor model of EF, findings for the primary EF domains of working memory, inhibition, and set shifting are reviewed. Results indicate that children and adolescents with FASD demonstrate significant deficits across these EF, although the magnitude of effects diverged between EF, with working memory and inhibition yielding medium effects and set shifting yielding large effects. These results were moderated by sample characteristics, type of FASD diagnosis, and EF methodology. This quantitative synthesis offers novel future research directions.

Additional Info

  • Authors:

    Khoury,J.E.; Milligan,K.; Girard,T.A.

  • Issue: Neuropsychol.Rev. / pages 149-170 / volume 25
  • Published Date: 2015/6
  • More Information:

    For more information about this abstract, please contact
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at the Deutsche Weinakademie GmbH

Read 3051 times


The authors have taken reasonable care in ensuring the accuracy of the information herein at the time of publication and are not responsible for any errors or omissions. Read more on our disclaimer and Privacy Policy.