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Assessing Children’s Executive Function: BADS-C Validity

Objectives

To investigate the external and ecological validity of a standardized test of children’s executive functioning (EF), the Behavioral Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome for Children (BADS-C).

Background

There are few standardized measures for assessing executive functions in children, and the evidence for the validity of most measures is currently limited.

Method

A normative sample of 256 children and adolescents from age 8–16 years completed the BADS-C, and a parent or teacher completed rating scales of the child’s everyday problems related to EF (Children’s version of the Dysexecutive Questionnaire; DEX-C) and Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), a commonly used measure of emotional, social, cognitive, and behavioral problems.

Results

Exploratory factor analyses yielded a two-factor structure to the BADS-C, indicative of monitoring and abstract reasoning processes, and a three-factor structure to the DEX-C, reflecting behavioral, and cognitive components of the dysexecutive syndrome as well as emotional responsiveness. Regression analyses showed significant relationships between BADS-C scores and everyday functioning as reported on the DEX and SDQ. Furthermore, there were significant differences in BADS-C scores between those children in the upper and lower quartiles on the SDQ.

Conclusion

Results provide tentative evidence of BADS-C and DEX-C construct, convergent and predictive validity.

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