Introduction. Executive functions are defined as a set of skills that are involved in various activities which are novel to the individual and which require a creative solution. It is not easy or straight forward to conceptualise or identify the factors that make up a population of young children.
Aim. To analyse the components of executive function due to the clinical implications in different neurodevelopmental disorders in a population-based sample of young children.
Development. From the body of literature, 35 published papers that used different factor analysis approaches for factor extraction were reviewed. The probability of a study with three factors being undertaken in the stage between 0 to 12 years is 1.44 times higher than studies being undertaken with some focus on another structure. The probability of a study being undertaken that focuses on the Flexibility dimension in the stage between 0 to 12 years is 1.45 times higher than a study being undertaken that focuses on any other dimension. The association between the different structures and dimensions that are analysed with respect to age using the Kendall tau-b indicates a statistically significant association between: studies with three factors and age (tau = 0.29; p = 0.044) and flexibility with age (tau = 0.37; p = 0.012).
Conclusions. The diversity of the obtained results can be attributed to, and is in line with, the plurality of theoretical conceptualisations, tests used and statistical analyzes carried out. It can be concluded that working memory, inhibition and flexibility are the executive processes most commonly found in the factorial models of executive control in young children and adolescents.
Key words. Executive function. Factorial models. Flexibility. Inhibition. Working memory.