Original ArticlesChallenging Behaviors and Executive Function in Preschool-Aged Children Relationships and Implications for PracticeKuhn, Miriam PhD; Boise, Courtney PhD; Marvin, Christine A. PhD; Knoche, Lisa L. PhDAuthor Information Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders, University of Nebraska Omaha (Dr Kuhn); and Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools (Drs Boise and Knoche); and Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders (Drs Marvin), University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Correspondence: Miriam Kuhn, PhD, Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders, University of Nebraska Omaha, 6001 Dodge St, Omaha, NE 68182 ([email protected]). The development of this article was supported by a grant awarded to Drs Susan Sheridan and Lisa Knoche by the Institute of Education Sciences (grant no. R324A120153). The opinions expressed herein are those of the investigators and do not reflect the funding agencies. The authors declare no conflict of interest. Infants & Young Children: January/March 2021 - Volume 34 - Issue 1 - p 46-65 doi: 10.1097/IYC.0000000000000183 Buy Metrics Abstract Although the literature regarding associations between young children's social emotional competencies and their executive functions (EF) is growing, there continue to be divergent accounts of the relationship between specific challenging behaviors (e.g., impulsivity, aggression, defiance, short attention span, withdrawal) and particular EF deficits (e.g., poor attentional control, flexibility, inhibitory self-control, working memory, and/or planning/organization) in young children. This mixed-methods study explores this relationship for a population of 19 preschool children. The study includes analysis of interviews with parents, teachers, and early childhood coaches for 4 of the children. Results demonstrated a significant relationship between teacher reports of challenging behaviors and deficits in global EF skills. In addition, participants provided a rich qualitative description of the children's challenges with inhibitory self-control, flexibility, and attention control. Oppositional or defiant behaviors were also prevalent within this group of 4 children. The constellation of difficulties for these children has implications for adults aiming to support positive social development and suggests next steps for research regarding behavioral targets and strategies and the collaborative parent–professional team efforts needed to address the children's needs. © 2021 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.