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Incremental Validity of the Barkley Deficits in Executive Function Scale and Cognitive Tests of Executive Function on ADHD Symptoms and Impairments in College Students

Title: The Incremental Validity of the Barkley Deficits in Executive Function Scale and Cognitive Tests of Executive Function on ADHD Symptoms and Impairments in College Students.
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Name(s): Dehili, Vincent Malik, author
Prevatt, Frances F., 1955-, professor directing dissertation
Stepina, Lee, university representative
Ebener, Deborah J., committee member
Osborn, Debra S., 1968-, committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Education, degree granting college
Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2015
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (173 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Executive Function (EF) is defined as “self-directed actions so as to choose goals and to select, enact, and sustain actions across time towards those goals” (Barkley, 2012; p. 170). These “self-directed actions” can take the form of behavioral, social, or emotional regulation. Since that time, EF has been associated with the frontal lobe function and has been researched as being affected by multiple physical and mental health disorders (Jurado & Roselli, 2007). EF deficits have been linked to Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD is “a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that is frequently displayed and more severe than is typically observed in individuals at a comparable level of development” (APA, 2013, p. 59). Research indicates that 4.4% of the adult population qualify for a diagnosis of ADHD (Barkley, Fischer, Smallish, & Fletcher, 2002; Bush, Valera, & Seidman, 2006; Glutting, Youngstrom, & Walkins, 2005; Kessler et al., 2005; DuPaul, Weyandt, O’Dell, & Varejao, 2009). College students with ADHD face unique challenges compared to their non-ADHD peers with respect to academics (Antshel et al., 2010; Barkley et al., 2006; Dupaul Weyandt, O’Dell, & Varejao, 2009), driving (Barkley, 2011a; Barkley, Anderson, & Kruesi, 2007; Richards et al., 2006), and work performance (Barkley, 2011a; Barkley & Murphy, 2010; Shifrin, Proctor, & Prevatt, 2010; Wilens, Faraone, & Biederman, 2004). Only 20% of young adults with ADHD will enroll in college with about 5% completing college (Antshel et al., 2010; Barkley et al., 2006; Biederman et al., 2006). Adults with ADHD have been shown to have greater likelihood to be at fault for car accidents and receive speeding tickets, (Barkley, 2011a; Barkley, Anderson, & Kruesi, 2007; Richards et al., 2006). Also, adults with ADHD are more likely to have a lower salary are reprimanded more at work (Barkley & Murphy, 2010; Shifrin, Proctor, & Prevatt, 2010; Wilens, Faraone, & Biederman, 2004). Evaluating ADHD in college students is done through multiple methods ranging from cognitive tests of EF to self-report rating scales on ADHD symptomology (Barkley, 2011a). As said previously, cognitive tests of EF were initially used to study individuals with frontal lobe damage (Barkley, 2011a; 2012; Barkley & Murphy, 2011; Jurado & Roselli, 2007). Meanwhile, rating scales of EF for adults evaluate a myriad of cognitive constructs without being based on any theory that allows clinicians to determine which cognitive functions are executive in nature (Burgess et al., 1998; Climie, Cadogan, & Goukon, 2014; Gioia et al., 2000; Naglieri & Goldstein, 2013). The Barkley Deficits in Executive Functioning Scale (BDEFS; Barkley, 2011b) is a recently created self-report rating scale that assesses five behavioral deficit areas related to EF: Self-Management to Time, Self-Organization/Problem Solving, Self-Restraint, Self-Motivation, and Self-Regulation of Emotion (Barkley, 2011a). Barkley (2011a) created the BDEFS to easily evaluate EF deficits in adults with ADHD as well as create a measure that was theoretically based (Barkley, 2012). The purpose of this study was to add further evidence to the incremental validity of the BDEFS on assessing ADHD symptoms and life impairments related to ADHD in college students over commonly used cognitive tests of EF. This study analyzed 83 college students diagnosed with ADHD at a southeastern public university. The mean age of the students was twenty-four years old with a median age of twenty-one years old. 47% of the students were male with 69% of the students identifying as Caucasian, 18% as Hispanic, 4% as African American, 4% Asian, and 4% as “Other.” As well, 11% of students identified as being a freshman, 24% as a sophomore, 19% as a junior, 25% as a senior, 16% as a graduate students, and 5 % did not choose a specific year in college. Through the use of multiple independent t-tests and One-way analysis of variances, no significant effects with respect to age, gender, ethnicity, or year in college were found on each of the dependent variables. With respect to incremental validity, the BDEFS subdomains consistently added significant variance over the variance accounted for by cognitive tests of EF on each dependent variable (i.e., inattention symptoms, hyperactivity symptoms, impulsivity symptoms, work performance, and driving performance). Conversely, cognitive tests of EF were never able to add significant variance over the variance accounted for by the BDEFS subdomains on each dependent variable. It is clear that further support of the validity of the BDEFS is needed. This study demonstrated additional evidence towards the incremental validity of the BDEFS over cognitive tests of EF on ADHD symptoms and impairments. This study also demonstrated evidence towards the ecological validity of the BDEFS.
Identifier: FSU_2016SU_Dehili_fsu_0071E_12651 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester 2015.
Date of Defense: May 13, 2015.
Keywords: ADHD, BDEFS, Cognitive Tests, College Students, Executive Function, Incremental Validity
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Frances Prevatt, Professor Directing Dissertation; Lee Stepina, University Representative; Deborah Ebener, Committee Member; Debra Osborn, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Psychology
Counseling psychology
Cognitive psychology
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_2016SU_Dehili_fsu_0071E_12651
Owner Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Dehili, V. M. (2015). The Incremental Validity of the Barkley Deficits in Executive Function Scale and Cognitive Tests of Executive Function on ADHD Symptoms and Impairments in College Students. Retrieved from http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_2016SU_Dehili_fsu_0071E_12651