Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

George McCloskey, PhD

Second Advisor

Virginia Salzer, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Christy Mulligan, Psy.D.


In the school setting, well-developed executive functions are associated with the metacognitive skills important for learning and are positively correlated with measures of student achievement across children and adolescents; however, development of executive skills has been shown to be inconsistent with chronological age among children. The current study examined if teachers’ ratings of students’ executive functions differ significantly among groups of students whose academic competence is judged to be above average, average, and below average and if these ratings differ significantly by age. Further, the study sought to determine if the relationship between teachers’ ratings of executive functions and teachers’ judgments of academic competence would change based on student age. Participants included 254 teachers who provided ratings for a diverse sample of 813 students. Archival data consisted of student demographic information, McCloskey Executive Functions Scale (MEFS) teacher ratings of students’ executive functions, and teachers’ ratings of students’ academic competence. Results provide evidence that executive functions differ significantly among different age groups of students and different groups of teacher-judged academic competency. No matter the age of the student, a consistent relationship emerged between teachers’ judgments of academic competence and mean ratings of executive functions. Teachers’ ratings of executive functions, overall, were highest for the oldest group of students and lowest for the youngest group of students. Teacher ratings of all executive functions were in the executive function strength range for students rated as having above-average academic competence, executive function deficit range for students rated as having below-average academic competence, and varied for students rated as having average competence.