Factor Structure and Utility of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function—Preschool Version

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Abstract

Executive function (EF) is a domain general cognitive construct associated with a number of important developmental outcomes. The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function—Preschool version (BRIEF-P) is intended to assess 5 distinct components of EF in preschool age children. In this study, a series of factor analyses was conducted with teacher-reported EF of 2,367 preschool students to assess the structure of the BRIEF-P, and the predictive relations between the resulting factors and children’s academic abilities and behavioral self-regulation were assessed to test the construct and convergent validity of the BRIEF-P scores. Results yielded mixed findings concerning the structure of the BRIEF-P and validity of its resultant scores. Results of the factor analyses indicated that the items of the BRIEF-P did not map onto factors in the way that would be expected based on its item-to-subscale mapping. The best solutions were a 4-factor and a bifactor model. The 4-factor solution revealed substantial correlations between factors, and although the bifactor solution identified a General Self-Regulation factor that explained variance in responses across items, this general factor did not account for all of the overlap among specific factors. Analyses of the relations for the factors from the correlated-factors and the bifactor models indicated that the majority of the factors had limited convergent validity with academic ability or with a measure of behavior self-regulation. Overall, these findings call into question the validity of aspects of BRIEF-P.

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