Research Article  |   September 2013
Performance-Based Measure of Executive Function: Comparison of Community and At-Risk Youth
Author Affiliations
  • Joan Toglia, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Dean, School of Health and Natural Sciences, Mercy College, 555 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522; jtoglia@mercy.edu
  • Christine Berg, PhD, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy and Neurology, Program in Occupational Therapy, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
Article Information
Mental Health / School-Based Practice / Children and Youth
Research Article   |   September 2013
Performance-Based Measure of Executive Function: Comparison of Community and At-Risk Youth
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September/October 2013, Vol. 67, 515-523. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.008482
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September/October 2013, Vol. 67, 515-523. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.008482
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. We compared abilities and strategy use of at-risk youth aged 16–21 yr with those of a community sample of high school students using a performance measure of executive function, the Weekly Calendar Planning Activity (WCPA).

METHOD. We recruited students from an alternative school for at-risk youth (n = 113) and from community high schools in the same region (n = 49). We collected demographic information from and administered the WCPA to both groups.

RESULTS. The at-risk group made more errors, used fewer strategies, and broke more rules than the community group; however, the groups were similar in average time for planning and task completion. Moderate relationships were found between WCPA and academic performance in the at-risk group.

CONCLUSION. Comparison of at-risk and community youth provides support for discriminant validity of the WCPA and indicates that the WCPA is useful in identifying adolescents who are at risk for occupational performance deficits.