Undergraduate Honors Theses

Date of Award

4-8-2015

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. J Bruce Morton

Abstract

This research explores the reliability and efficacy of a child and adolescent adaptation of an adult battery of executive functioning, measuring the constructs of reasoning, short-term memory and verbal processing. The intent of the research is twofold as it intends to support an age appropriate adjustment of a battery of tasks presented by Hampshire, Highfield, Parkin and Owen (2012), and secondly to display the necessity of looking at executive functions as multifaceted and therefore requiring multiple tasks to encompass their complexities. The adjusted battery in analysis is composed of nine tasks that have been amended to be age appropriate for a sample of children aged 8, and adolescents (15-17). These tasks were administered to a group of 8- year- olds recruited through the London Child Development Pool with task completion facilitated online, as well as to a large group of adolescents participating in a study on healthy relationships conducted by the Center of Addiction and Mental Health in London, Ontario. A descriptive comparison of means was conducted to establish that an accurate developmental trajectory of the constructs of reasoning, short-term memory and verbal processing exists with the use of the age adjusted battery. A correlational analysis was completed with the Multidimensional Aptitude Battery- II in the adolescent cohort, which supported the reliable transition of the constructs of reasoning and short-term memory but raised concerns with the accuracy of the verbal processing component. Limitations of the study were discussed as well as future directions for this research.

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