Degree Granting Department
Psychological and Social Foundations
Harold Keller, Ph.D.
Richard Marshall, Ph.D.
Kathy Bradley Klug, Ph.D.
Kathleen Armstrong, Ph.D.
utive functions, social/adaptive functioning, school age children, neuropsychological tests
Executive functions impact everyday functioning. An individual’s ability to adapt
to and navigate their physical and social environments is largely determined by the ability
to organize oneself, to plan and to coordinate activities. Despite the wide variety of
cognitive tests that assess various aspects of executive function, there has been little work
to validate the use of these measures in predicting real world functioning (Sbordone,
Seyranian, & Ruff, 2000), particularly in children where characterization of executive
function is less specified. Evaluating the ecological validity of neuropsychological tests
has become an increasingly important topic over the past decade (Chaytor & Schmitter-
Edgecombe, 2003). Ecologically valid assessments of executive function and attentional
deficits provide insight into deficits related to the child’s everyday adaptive functioning,
which can assist in identifying targets for interventions. Although many performance
based measures and caregiver behavior checklists exist for assessing a wide range of
behaviors and adaptive functioning skills in children, comprehensive measures of
executive functions are relatively new and largely unexplored.
The purpose of this study was to investigate and to define better the relationship
between attention and corresponding behaviors that represent executive functions and
social/adaptive functioning. More specifically, this study sought to explore the correlation
between ratings of varying subcomponents of attention (e.g., selective attention, sustained
attention, and attentional control/switching), executive function behaviors, and ratings of
social/adaptive functioning. Additionally, gender considerations were examined with
aims to determine how this factor may affect the degree of relationship between the
Results of multiple regression and correlational analyses revealed the ability of
child attentional performance to predict executive function and social/adaptive
functioning behaviors. As parent/caregiver and teacher ratings of executive function
behaviors increased thus noting adept skills in these areas of functioning child
performance on measures of selective attention, sustained attention, and attentional
control/shifting were also reported to improve. Future research should continue to explore
the construct validity, positive predictive power, negative predictive power, diagnostic
sensitivity and specificity of the Test of Everyday Attention for Children (TEA-Ch).
Scholar Commons Citation
Lee, Eun- Yeop, "An Exploratory Analysis of the Ecological Validity of a Performance-Based Assessment of Attention" (2009). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.