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Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function - Preschool Version (BRIEF-P)

The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function – Preschool Version (BRIEF-P; Gioia, Espy, & Isquith, 2003) is an individualized, norm-referenced measure of executive function behaviors for preschool-aged children from 2 years to 5 years, 11 months of age.


The BRIEF-P, a questionnaire designed to be completed by parents or teachers (single form), rates behaviors related to various executive functions observed in the home and in the preschool setting across five domains (Inhibit, Shift, Emotional Control, Working Memory, and Plan/Organize). Items are rated on a Likert scale (never, sometimes, often), comparing the significance of the child’s behaviors to those of other children of the same age over a specified period of time.

Results of the scales are combined to generate three index scores, Inhibitory Self-Control, Flexibility, and Emergent Metacognition (each based on two scales), and an overall composite score, the Global Executive Composite/GEC. Standardization of the BRIEF-P included individuals with a variety of developmental or neurological conditions and children considered at risk, allowing for use of the inventory with a broad range of students. Use of the BRIEF-P may facilitate early identification of children with potential problems in areas of self-regulation.


Author (yr) Age Range (yrs) Method of Administration/Format Approx. Time to Administer Subscales
Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function – Preschool Version (BRIEF-P) Gioia, Espy, & Isquith (2003) 2-5

Individualized norm- referenced measure of executive function; single rating form for parents and teachers

Yields t-scores, percentiles, confidence intervals
10–15 min.

Subscales (Inhibit, Shift, Emotional Control, Working Memory) form three broad index scores: Inhibitory Self- Control, Flexibility, and Emergent Metacognition

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.