Date of Award

August 2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Bonita P Klein-Tasman

Committee Members

Kristin Smith, Hanjoo Lee

Keywords

attention, neurofibromatosis, psychometrics, reliability, validity

Abstract

Children with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) often demonstrate difficulties with attention and executive functioning that can be evident even starting at a young age. Despite this consistent finding in the literature, there has been no research to determine which measures of attention are most suitable for use with children with NF1. Recently, there have been several computerized measures of attention and executive abilities that have become available to researchers and clinicians. This study explored the National Institute of Health Toolbox Flanker, Dimensional Change Card Sort, and List Sort Working Memory; Cogstate Identification; and Conners Kiddie Continuous Performance Test, second edition to conclude which are the most reliable, valid, and identify the most difficulty in this population. Participants (ages 4-6 years; M=5.45, SD=0.75) were seen for one (n=2) or two (n=18) time points. Statistical analyses for evaluating evidence for test-retest reliability, convergent and discriminant validity, practice effects, and identification of difficulties were conducted. The measures demonstrated a variety of patterns of strengths and weaknesses, and there may not be a “one size fits all” measure for use with young children with NF1. Specific recommendations are provided for the appropriate measure to use in clinical and research batteries.

Available for download on Thursday, August 25, 2022

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