Construct validity of parent ratings of inhibitory control

L. Elizabeth Bodnar, M. Cristine Prahme, Laurie E. Cutting, Martha B. Denckla, E. Mark Mahone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Recent literature has emphasized the need to examine executive functions (EF) in children using multiple sources, including both parent rating and performance-based measures. Computerized Go/No-Go tests, including commercially available continuous performance tests (CPTs), represent one of the most commonly used methods of assessing inhibitory control - a variable central to the executive function construct. We examined the relationship between parent ratings of inhibitory control and CPT performance in two mixed clinical samples. Experiment 1 examined 109 children ages 6-18 using the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF; Gioia, Isquith, Guy, & Kenworthy, 2000) and the Conners' CPT-II (Conners, 2000). In this sample, ratings on the BRIEF Inhibit scale (mean T-score = 62.3) were significantly higher than the CPT-II commissions score (mean T-score = 50.7; p <.0001); and the BRIEF and CPT-II scores were not highly correlated (r = -.12). Experiment 2 examined a sample of 131 children ages 7-18 using the BRIEF and the Tests of Variables of Attention (TOVA; Greenberg, 1996). In this sample, parent ratings on the BRIEF Inhibit scale (mean T-score = 56.8) were similar to TOVA commissions scores (mean T-score = 58.6; p =.33), although still poorly correlated (r = -.02). Factor analyses exploring covariance between BRIEF scales CPT-II variables (Experiment 1) and between BRIEF and TOVA (Experiment 2) yielded similar findings. In both experiments, all eight BRIEF scales loaded on a single factor, with no overlap with either the CPT-II or the TOVA. In mixed outpatient clinical samples, the BRIEF appears to measure different elements of inhibitory control than those assessed by computerized continuous performance tests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-362
Number of pages18
JournalChild Neuropsychology
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2007

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Keywords

  • ADHD
  • Attention
  • BRIEF
  • Continuous Performance Test
  • Executive Functions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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