The relationship between school-age children’s interoceptive awareness and executive functioning: An exploratory study

Caitlin Bishop, Ted Brown, Mong Lin Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Introduction: Independently, interoceptive awareness and executive functioning play major roles in children’s abilities to engage in their daily occupations. This study investigated the potential relationship between neurotypical school-age children’s interoceptive awareness and executive functioning. Method: A convenience sample of 30 children (8–12 years) completed the Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness–youth and one of their parents completed the Behaviour Rating Inventory of Executive Function® – Second Edition (BRIEF®2). Spearman rho correlations and linear regression analyses with bootstrapping were completed. Results: The Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness–youth Emotional Awareness aspect of interoceptive awareness was significantly correlated with and predictive of the following BRIEF®2 executive functioning components: Emotion Regulation Index (ρ = 0.402, R2 = 0.888, p < 0.001), Cognitive Regulation Index (ρ = 0.364, R2 = 0.256, p < 0.001) and the Global Executive Composite (ρ = 0.049, R2 = 0.128, p < 0.012), as well as the following subscales: Organisation of Materials (ρ = 0.422, R2 = 0.150, p < 0.020), Working Memory (ρ = 0.393, R2 = 0.085, p < 0.033), Emotional Control (ρ = 0.394, R2 = 0.176, p < 0.002) and Inhibit (ρ = 0.373, R2 = 0.141, p < 0.003). Conclusion: It appears that there is a significant and predictive relationship between neurotypical children’s interoceptive awareness and aspects of their executive functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-129
Number of pages14
JournalBritish Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • Child
  • executive functioning
  • interoception
  • interoceptive awareness
  • occupational therapy

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