Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version in Healthy Adults and Application to Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

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Abstract

The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A) is a questionnaire measure designed to assess executive functioning in everyday life. Analysis of data from the BRIEF-A standardization sample yielded a two-factor solution (labeled Behavioral Regulation and Metacognition). The present investigation employed confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to evaluate four alternative models of the factor structure of the BRIEF-A self-report form in a sample of 524 healthy young adults. Results indicated that a three-factor model best fits the data: a Metacognition factor, a Behavioral Regulation factor consisting of the Inhibit and Self-Monitor scales, and an Emotional Regulation factor composed of the Emotional Control and Shift scales. The three factors contributed 14%, 19%, and 24% of unique variance to the model, respectively, and a second-order general factor accounted for 41% of variance overall. This three-factor solution is consistent with recent CFAs of the Parent report form of the BRIEF. Furthermore, although the Behavioral Regulation factor score in the two-factor model did not differ between adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and a matched healthy comparison group, greater impairment on the Behavioral Regulation factor but not the Emotional Regulation factor was found using the three-factor model. Together, these findings support the multidimensional nature of executive function and the clinical relevance of a three-factor model of the BRIEF-A.

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