Credentials Display

Donna P. Mann, OTD, MED, BSOT, OT/L; Roberta Snover, Dr. OT, OTR/L; James R. Boyd, MSOT; Andrea J. List, MOTS; Aaron J. Kuhn, MOTS; Bridget N. Devereaux, MOTS; Susan M. Chenoweth, MOTS; Gina L. Middaugh, MOTS


BACKGROUND. Student role performance for academic success in secondary education is under represented in the occupational therapy literature, despite the persistently high dropout rate in the United States (Stillwell & Sable, 2013). Executive dysfunction is one of many possible contributors to difficulties in the classroom (Dirette & Kolak, 2004) and is a better indicator of school performance than IQ (Diamond, 2012). This research examined executive functioning of both alternative and traditional high school students to determine if there is a relationship between executive function and academic success as measured by cumulative grade point average.

METHOD. 132 high school students from three different school settings were given the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Self Report (BRIEF-SR). The Global Executive Composite (GEC) and individual subscale scores were compared to GPA.

RESULTS. No significant difference in GEC scores was found among settings. Subscale scores for “inhibition” and “task completion” were significantly different in the alternative school setting. A weak negative correlation was seen between the GEC and GPA. However, academically unsuccessful students scored statistically lower on the GEC.

CONCLUSION. Global executive dysfunction was not predicted by setting but was seen in academically unsuccessful students.