Cognitive and behavioural profile of minors in residential care: The role of executive functions

Nuria Camuñas, María Vaíllo, Irini Mavrou, María Brígido, Miriam Poole Quintana - Children and Youth Services Review


The present study analysed the executive, emotional, and behavioural profile of 121 minors aged between 13 and 17, who were living in residential care homes funded by Asociación Nuevo Futuro (Spain). To this end, we used the Assessment System for Children and Adolescents (Fernández-Pinto et al., 2015) and the Spanish adaptation of the Behaviour Rating Inventory of Executive Function (Maldonado Belmonte et al., 2017). Data analysis was conducted using both classical and Bayesian methods. The results revealed strong correlations between children’s executive functions and their behavioural problems. Behaviour regulation made a considerable contribution to children’s behavioural problems. Moreover, age and gender proved to be significant predictor variables, with younger minors exhibiting more behavioural and emotional problems whilst emotional problems were more apparent among females. These findings highlight the need to develop and implement intervention programmes that take into account minors’ age, gender differences, and particularly their cognitive and behavioural profile.