The European Educational Researcher

Predicting GPAs with Executive Functioning Assessed by Teachers and by Adolescents Themselves

The European Educational Researcher, Volume 2, Issue 3, 2019, pp. 173-194
OPEN ACCESS VIEWS: 574 DOWNLOADS: 316 Publication date: 15 Oct 2019
Executive functions (EFs) show promise as important mediators of adolescent academic performance. However, the expense of measuring EFs accurately has restricted most field-based research on them to smaller, non-longitudinal studies of homogeneous populations with specific diagnoses. We therefore monitored the development of 259 diverse, at-risk students’ EFs as they progressed from 6th through 12th grade. Teachers completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) for a random subset of their students. At that same time, those same students completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Self Report (BRIEF-SR) about themselves; teachers generally reported stronger EFs in students than students reported in themselves. Results further indicated that both BRIEF and BRIEF-SR Global Executive Composite (GEC) scores—measures of overall executive functioning—significantly predicted overall GPAs more than was already predicted by students’ gender, IEP status, and eligibility for free/reduced school lunch. BRIEF (teacher) scores were better predictors and contributed more to predictive accuracy than the BRIEF-SR (student) scores; BRIEF scores even added additional predictiveness to a model already containing BRIEF-SR scores, while the reverse did not hold. This study provides evidence for valid use of BRIEF and BRIEF-SR GEC scores to predict middle and high school GPAs, thereby supporting practitioners use for this purpose within similar, diverse, at-risk populations. The study also illuminates some of the EF development for this population during adolescence.
Academic performance, adolescence, Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, executive function, GPA, longitudinal, validity
Samuels, W. E., Tournaki, N., Sacks, S., Sacks, J., Blackman, S., Byalin, K., & Zilinski, C. (2019). Predicting GPAs with Executive Functioning Assessed by Teachers and by Adolescents Themselves. The European Educational Researcher, 2(3), 173-194.
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