Date of Award
Master of Science
Behavior Analysis and Therapy
Executive functioning usually refers to one’s ability to regulate one’s behavior, set goals, be mentally flexible, and understand the consequence of one’s actions. However, certain neurodevelopmental disabilities such as Autism, often can negatively impact executive function processes. Although applied behavior analytic (ABA) treatment is the most recommended intervention for autism treatment practitioners rarely assess or target executive functioning within their treatment planning. The present study assessed the relationship between direct and indirect executive functioning scores and a language assessment used by ABA providers. Thirty-nine children with autism spectrum disorder were administered a variety of scales including the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning (BRIEF 2), Comprehensive Executive Functioning Inventory (CEFI), Tower of London (TOL), and the PEAK Comprehensive Assessment (PCA). Obtained data yielded a moderate, negative relationship between the total BRIEF and total PCA scores (r=-0.521, p=.032) and a moderate, positive relationship between CEFI planning and PCA scores (r=0.394, p=.017). However, there was a strong correlation between total PCA scores and TOL scores (r=0.708, p=.005).
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