A concurrent validity study comparing executive functioning of the Woodcock Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Ability and the NEPSY
Carper, Marlene Snapka
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The purpose of this study was to examine the concurrent validity between the Woodcock Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Ability (WJ III COG; Woodcock, McGrew, & Mather, 2001) executive functioning tests and the NEPSY (Korkman, Kirk, & Kemp, 1998) executive functioning tests within the same population sample of nondisabled children. The tests of the WJ III COG that are executive functioning tests are Concept Formation, Planning, and Pair Cancellation. On the NEPSY the tests that make up executive functioning are Tower and Design Fluency. A total of 60 participants (30 females and 30 males) were recruited to participate in this study. Participants completed an IQ screener to ensure intellectual functioning scores were 80 or above. Parents provided background information, providing pertinent medical and emotional information to rule out health and other behavioral influences, as well as assuring that children were currently passing all subjects in school. Participants additionally completed the executive functioning tests comprising the WJ III COG and NEPSY. Results indicated: no significant differences for mean standard scores of the WJ III COG and NEPSY based on age or on sex; although, there were significant correlations within tests of the WJ III COG and NEPSY Design Fluency test; no significant correlations found with any WJ III COG tests and NEPSY Tower test; and WJ III COG and NEPSY correlations did not vary by sex or by age. Implications of this study indicate that the WJ III COG and NEPSY provide a time- and cost-effective means for comprehensive assessment of executive functions and may enhance educational plan development within the school setting. Careful study of the referral information, as well as, the types of tasks that encompass the executive functioning concept believed to be at deficit will drive the test selection. This study has also provided research data on the WJ III COG and NEPSY in the area of executive functioning in which few studies were found to exist.