Objective measures of executive functioning are highly discrepant with parent-report in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders

Amy C Gross, Lindsay A. Deling, Jeffrey R Wozniak, Christopher J Boys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the relationship between parent-report and objective measures of executive function in children diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). The participants were a clinical sample of 551 children who completed 597 evaluations, including initial and re-evaluations. Participants were 6-16years old, with a mean age of 10. Pearson correlations were used to determine the relationship between performance-based measures and parent-report measures of executive functioning. Relationships among the same types of measures, that is, performance based or parent report, were also evaluated. The data largely demonstrate low nonsignificant correlations between performance-based measures and parental report of executive function. Parent-report measures were internally consistent as were objective measures. It is possible that a third variable, for example, parental frustration, significantly influences parent reports. It is also likely that objective measures, which are administered in a controlled environment, do not fully capture childrens day-to-day functioning. That is, a child may have the executive function abilities (i.e., good performance on objective measures) but may be unable to deploy the appropriate skills in their daily lives, as evidenced by parental report. Children with FASD who have executive function abilities but not implementation skills likely require different interventions than children who lack abilities and skills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-538
Number of pages8
JournalChild Neuropsychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 4 2015


  • Adolescents.
  • Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function
  • Children
  • Executive function
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder


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