A Review of the Use of Executive Function Tasks in Externalizing and Internalizing Disorders

Executive function is a complex construct that encompasses a variety of cognitive abilities that allow for impulse control, strategic planning, cognitive flexibility, and goal-directed behavior

Lisa L. Weyandt; W. Grant Willis; Anthony Swentosky; Kimberly Wilson; Grace M. Janusis; Hyun Jin Chung; Kyle Turcotte; Stephanie Marshall

2013

Scholarcy highlights

  • Executive function is a complex construct that encompasses a variety of cognitive abilities that allow for impulse control, strategic planning, cognitive flexibility, and goal-directed behavior
  • Executive functions have been studied in nearly every major childhood disorder including externalizing and internalizing disorders
  • A universally accepted definition of EF does not exist, and many have criticized the broad definitions of the construct
  • What remains unclear is which executive function tasks are used most often in the literature and on which executive tasks are groups most likely to differ? the purpose of this review is to conduct a systematic search of the childhood internalizing and externalizing literature to determine executive function tasks that are used in the literature, executive function tasks that are most commonly used, executive function tasks on which clinical and control groups differ most frequently, and executive function tasks on which clinical groups differ most frequently
  • Specific findings regarding the type, usage, and discriminant ability of executive function tasks will be presented followed by implications and suggestions for future research

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