Performance-based measures of executive function and BRIEF-P in preschoolers: a latent variable approach

Date

2021-04-29

Authors

Kim, Yaewon

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Abstract

Preschool years are an important period for executive function (EF) development. The two common ways of assessing EF in preschoolers are performance-based (PB) and rating measures. One of the most commonly used rating scales for preschoolers is the Behaviour Rating Inventory of Executive Function – Preschool Version (BRIEF-P). The current study explored the longitudinal relationship between three PB measures (Grass/Snow, Shape School, Self-ordered Pointing) and corresponding BRIEF-P scales (Inhibit, Shift, Working Memory) in typically developing preschoolers. There were three assessments in six-month intervals. Participants included 101 children at Time 1, with 86 and 75 in subsequent assessment time points. Using a latent variable approach, longitudinal measurement invariance was tested, supporting partial strong invariance. Results showed a lack of direct correlations between PB measures and corresponding BRIEF-P scales across time. These findings were interpreted in the context of existing literature, yielding a more nuanced understanding of what these two types of measures assess. Specifically, it is proposed that BRIEF-P measures children’s subjective, average level of EF, while PB tasks measure their objective, in-the-moment EF.

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Keywords

executive function, preschool, BRIEF-P, performance-based, assessment

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