The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function – Preschool Version (BRIEF-P; Gioia, Espy, & Isquith, 2003) is an individually administered, norm-referenced measure of executive function behaviors for preschool-aged children from 2 years to 5 years, 11 months of age. The BRIEF-P is a questionnaire designed to be completed by parents or teachers, permitting ratings of 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. Use of the BRIEF-P may facilitate early identification of children with potential problems in areas of self-regulation. Spanish language form is available. Online administration and scoring is an option for the BRIEF-P.
Age: 2 years 0 months to 5 years 11 months
Time to Administer: 10-15 minutes
Method of Administration: Individually-administered, norm- referenced measure of executive function; single rating form for parents and teachers
Spanish form available
Yields T-scores (M = 50, SD = 10), percentile ranks, confidence intervals
Subscales: Overall Composite: Global Executive Composite
Index Scores: Inhibitory Self- Control, Flexibility, and Emergent Metacognition
Subscales: Subscales Inhibit, Shift, Emotional Control, Working Memory
Autism Related Research
The BRIEF-P manual (Gioia et al., 2003) reported that all BRIEF-P clinical scales were highly elevated in the autism group (n = 16). Moreover, they found that clinically significant elevations on the GEC were most common in the autism (81%) and ADHD (71%) groups. Together, this lends support for the clinical utility and sensitivity of this instrument since both autism and ADHD are disorders conceptualized as having prominent executive dysfunction. Importantly, however, the authors also emphasize that a comprehensive assessment is needed to make these (and other) diagnoses.
Smithson, Kenworthy, Wills, Jarrett, Atmore, & Yerys (2013)
Age Range: 2:8-5:8
Sample Size: 44
BRIEF-P (a “real world measure of executive control”) scores in an ASD group, and whether executive control was related to ASD symptoms
Outcome:Smithson, Kenworthy, Wills, Jarrett, Atmore, & Yerys (2013)
The BRIEF-P is sensitive for detecting executive control impairments in real-world settings for preschoolers with ASD.
A majority (67%) of preschoolers with ASD were rated on the BRIEF-P as having clinically significant executive control impairments in one BRIEF-P index, and a substantial minority (22%) were elevated on all three index scores. No significant correlations between BRIEF-P and ASD symptoms, which was unexpected based on relationships between executive control and ASD symptoms found in studies with older children; differences in measurement and varying developmental trajectories may partially explain this finding.