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Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF)

The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF; Gioia, Isquith, Guy, & Kenworthy, 2000) is an individualized, norm-referenced measure of executive function behaviors designed for school-aged students from 5 to 18 years of age.


The BRIEF is a questionnaire that is completed by parents or teachers using one of two different forms; they who behaviors related to executive functions in eight scales (Inhibit, Shift, Emotional Control, Initiate, Working Memory, Plan/Organize, Organization of Materials, and Monitor).

Results of the scales are combined to generate two index scores, Behavioral Regulation/BRI (based on three scales) and Metacognition/MI (based on five scales), along with an overall composite score, the Global Executive Composite/GEC. Standardization of the BRIEF included individuals with a variety of developmental or neurological conditions, allowing for use of the inventory with a broad range of students. A Self-Report Form, the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function – Self-Report Version (BRIEF-SR; Guy, Isquith, & Gioia, 2005) is also available for use with students 13 through 18 years of age.

Author (yr) Age Range (yrs) Method of Administration/Format Approx. Time to Administer Subscales
Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) Gioia, Isquith, Guy, & Kenworthy (2000) (Also BRIEF – Self-Report; SR) 5–18

Individualized norm- referenced measure of executive function; Parent and Teacher rating forms

Yields t-scores, percentiles, confidence intervals
10–15 min. per form; 20 min. to score

Behavioral Regulation Index (Inhibit, Shift, Emotional Control); Metacognitive Index (Initiate, Working Memory, Plan/Organize, Organization of Materials, Monitor)

Availability: Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc.


<p>This table provides information regarding misconceptions surrounding cognitive assessment in general and is not specific to this assessment. </p>
Myth Reality
Full-scale IQ is a good description of a student’s cognitive ability. Students with autism typically demonstrate a scattered profile on comprehensive cognitive measures, performing better on tasks involving rote skills than on tasks involving problem solving, conceptual thinking, and social knowledge (Mayes & Calhoun, 2008; Meyer, 2001-2002).
If a student has an average IQ, an adaptive behavior measure is unnecessary Although a student has an average IQ and may even be doing well academically, it does not mean that an adaptive measure is not necessary. Research indicates that many students with autism have deficits in communication, daily living skills, and socialization (Lee & Park, 2007; Myles et al., 2007). Klin and Volkmar (2000) stated that adaptive behavior is a critical area of planning for students with Asperger Syndrome (now referred to as autism spectrum disorder, Level 1) to facilitate transition from the school environment to work and community environments.
If a student demonstrates a well-below-average IQ, the student does not have any cognitive skills. A flat profile of skills may indicate difficulty accessing what the student knows. Formal cognitive assessments may not yield valuable information for assessing current level of functioning and needs for programming. In addition, students with autism spectrum disorder may not be able to generalize skills from the classroom setting to the testing environment, or the manner in which the information is being assessed may prohibit the child from demonstrating mastery of skills. For example, if the student has learned to perform a task in one way with a certain prompt and the assessment asks for it in a different way, the student may not be able to demonstrate knowledge of the skill.
Formal IQ is more valid than informal data from the classroom. Informal classroom data provide information about how the student functions on a daily basis. Analyzing formal and informal data to determine patterns of skills and learning is a key component of assessment (Hagiwara, 2001-2002). Informal data from the classroom may be more valuable than information gathered in a contrived one-on-one setting when determining programming for a student with autism spectrum disorder.
If a student has a high IQ or demonstrates high achievement, he or she should be successful in the general education classroom. Because students with autism spectrum disorder have difficulty with language, communication, and social skills, they may continue to struggle in the general education classroom in activities that involve these skills.