Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 28, Issue 12, pp 3558–3568 | Cite as

Executive Functions in Children and Adolescents in Residential Care Under Protective Measures

  • Juan Manuel Moreno-MansoEmail author
  • María de la Rosa Murillo
  • Ma Elena García-Baamonde
  • Eloísa Guerrero-Barona
  • Marta Rodríguez-Jiménez
Original Paper



This research analyses the executive functions in children and adolescents (between 7 and 16 years of age) in residential care. These children and adolescents are under protective measures due to abuse and/or neglect. The presence of significant differences in the executive functioning is explored, while taking into account such variables as gender, age and time spent in residential care.


The sample is made up of 73 children and adolescents under protective measures (43 male and 30 female). The participants make up the total number of children and adolescents in residential care centres in 2018.


The neuropsychological evaluation shows that these children and adolescents have difficulties in their executive functions. They show mental rigidity, scarce ability to face cognitive stress and also have problems in controlling their attention span and the speed with which they can process information.


This study contributes to early intervention in the sphere of healthcare assistance within this at-risk population. It provides useful information for designing neuropsychological intervention proposals in executive functions.


Executive functions Residential care Child abuse Neglect Neurodevelopment Prevention 


Author Contributions

J.M.M., M.R. and M.E.G. collaborated to the design of the study, wrote the introduction, analysed the data, wrote the results sections and the discussion of the paper, and edited the final manuscript. E.G. and M.R. collaborated to the design of the study, assisted with the data analyses, limitation and future directions and contributed to writing the paper.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed were in accordance with the ethical standards of Extremadura University 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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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ExtremaduraBadajozSpain

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