Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A. DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair

First Advisor

Rosemary Mennuti, EdD, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Lisa Hain, PsyD

Third Advisor

Evelyn Minaya


Picky eating is currently not included in the diagnostic classification system DSM-IV TR as a distinct category of eating disorders in childhood. It can reach clinical significance requiring intervention when it results in chronic nutritional inadequacies and/or harmful impact on social development or family functioning. Studies have shown that patients with eating disorders have difficulties with executive functioning. These findings have been used to develop an intervention based on cognitive remediation therapy (CRT) which targets thinking skills and their role in the development and maintenance of an eating disorder. To further investigate, this study assessed the efficacy of an 8-week, intensive cognitive training program in a pre-adolescent with picky eating behaviors. The participant was assessed before and after the eight sessions using assessments of executive function and a personality measure. The parent participated in a clinical interview and completed a paper-and-pencil measure of executive functioning at baseline and post-treatment. Assessment results showed improvements in logical planning, shifting, and self-confidence. The participant was aware of an improvement in his attention. Participant feedback was generally negative towards cognitive training. This study suggests that cognitive training appears promising as an intervention in improving executive functioning. The short nature and promising results of this intervention make it an attractive addition in the school setting for at-risk students with disordered eating