Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

George McCloskey, PhD, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Rosemary Mennuti, EdD

Third Advisor

Dr. Lori J. Lennon


Over the course of the past 25 years, “executive functions” have been investigated more and more frequently in relation to cognitive functioning across the lifespan. Within that time frame, researchers have examined various changes that are specific to the adolescent brain. The research has begun to elucidate the relationship between executive functioning and the developmental period of adolescence. Previous studies have examined the utility of using specific rating scales as a means to assess executive functioning across the lifespan, with most of these utilizing scale level analyses. Given the lack of specificity regarding what elements exactly comprise “executive functioning,” the literature has failed to produce specific, behavioral descriptors that would make more tailored interventions possible. The present study sought to extrapolate, further the specific behaviors that were rated to be most frequently endorsed for prototypical students. More specifically, the present study further examined teachers‟ ratings of academically successful and academically unsuccessful students, based on the endorsements on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) utilized by Bobik (2008). Results of the present study suggest that academically successful students demonstrate less difficulty with executive functions than do academically unsuccessful students