Sorting Test, Tower Test, and BRIEF-SR do not predict school performance of healthy adolescents in preuniversity education

Annemarie Boschloo*, Lydia Krabbendam, Aukje Aben, Renate De Groot, Jelle Jolles

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

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    Executive functions (EF) such as self-monitoring, planning, and organizing are known to develop through childhood and adolescence. They are of potential importance for learning and school performance. Earlier research into the relation between EF and school performance did not provide clear results possibly because confounding factors such as educational track, boy-girl differences, and parental education were not taken into account. The present study therefore investigated the relation between executive function tests and school performance in a highly controlled sample of 173 healthy adolescents aged 12–18. Only students in the pre-university educational track were used and the performance of boys was compared to that of girls. Results showed that there was no relation between the report marks obtained and the performance on executive function tests, notably the Sorting Test and the Tower Test of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Functions System (D-KEFS). Likewise, no relation was found between the report marks and the scores on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function—Self-Report Version (BRIEF-SR) after these were controlled for grade, sex, and level of parental education. The findings indicate that executive functioning as measured with widely used instruments such as the BRIEF-SR does not predict school performance of adolescents in preuniversity education any better than a student's grade, sex, and level of parental education.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDevelopment of Executive Function During Childhood
    EditorsYusuke Moriguchi, Philip D. Zelazo, Nicolas Chevalier
    Place of PublicationLausanne, Switzerland
    PublisherFrontiers Media S.A.
    ISBN (Print)978-2-88919-800-9
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2014


    • Executive Function
    • cognitive flexibility
    • Inhibitory Control
    • working memory
    • socio-emotional development
    • prefrontal cortex (PFC)
    • cognitive development


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