Executive functions in early adulthood: data for the controlled animal fluency test

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Evans-Barker, Jacqueline (2012) Executive functions in early adulthood: data for the controlled animal fluency test. Other Degree thesis, Victoria University.


Assessment tools that accurately assess executive functions in early adulthood are important for clinical practice, particularly given factors that can affect the executive functions, such as brain injury and mental illness, are relatively common during this developmental period. The aim of the current study was to investigate a more recently refined measure of executive function, the Controlled Animal Fluency Test (CAFT) in a non-clinical sample of young adults. Relationships between performance on the CAFT and other executive measures and cognitive measures were examined along with the relationship of CAFT measures to demographic factors. Further normative data for the CAFT for young adults were also obtained. Sixty individuals (27 male & 33 female) aged 19 to 40 years (M = 31.2 years, SD = 6.03) participated. They were screened for brain injury, serious illness, neurodevelopmental disorder, and psychotropic medication according to a structured interview protocol. Participants were tested with the CAFT, the Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWAT), the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI), the Trail Making Test (TMT), and the Digit Span subtest from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale – Fourth Edition (WAIS-IV). Results showed significant correlations between the three conditions of the CAFT and FSIQ; CAFT Size and part B of the Trail Making Test; CAFT Alphabet and the COWAT; and all three conditions of the CAFT and the demographic variables of SES and number of years of education. The current findings highlight the interconnectedness of executive functions and other cognitive constructs such as FSIQ and reinforce the importance of accounting for demographic variables when developing normative data sets. Most importantly, however, the results of the current study provide evidence that the CAFT is a clinically useful measure of executive function with the early adulthood population.

Additional Information

Doctor of Psychology (Clinical Neuropsychology)

Item type Thesis (Other Degree thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/21726
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1702 Cognitive Science
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Keywords young adult development, adults, brain, cognition, cognitive, thought, thinking, intellectual functioning, intellectual ability, intelligence, memory
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