Date of Award

10-5-2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Casey, Joeseph

Keywords

affective processes, assessment methods, concurrent validity, ecological validity, executive functions, psychopathlogy

Abstract

Research has found that performance-based tests of executive functioning (PBT-EF) have inherent characteristics that limit their use in describing functioning in an ecologically valid manner. Recommendations have been made to improve prediction of everyday functioning, and the Functional Assessment of Verbal Reasoning and Executive Strategies (FAVRES) appeared promising. The current study investigated the concurrent validity of the FAVRES. It was hypothesized that the FAVRES would be a better predictor of everyday EF than an estimate of intelligence and, true to its goal, other PFT-EF. University undergraduate students and community members were invited to participate in the study. Participants (N = 78; 63% Female, Mage = 22 years) completed a demographic questionnaire, as well as the FAVRES, the Wechsler Test of Adult Reading (WTAR; an estimate of intelligence) and the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function - Adult (BRIEF-A; a self-report measure of everyday EF). FAVRES and WTAR scores were used in a hierarchical regression model to predict BRIEF-A scores. Neither FAVRES nor WTAR scores predicted BRIEF-A scores. Post-hoc analyses revealed a relation between FAVRES performance and WTAR scores; whereas BRIEF-A scores were predicted by participant History of Psychopathology and State Distress. These findings indicate a stronger relation between psychopathology and everyday EF than between intelligence or PBT and everyday EF. Future investigation into the effect of emotion on EF related behaviours may be one avenue to improved performance-based measurement of EF.

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