Investigation of the Clinical Utility of the BRIEF2 in Youth with and without Intellectual Disability

Y. Shishido, E. M. Mahone, L. A. Jacobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Executive function (EF) difficulties are commonly found in youth with intellectual disability (ID). Given mixed results from studies using performance-based EF measures, the EF profile has not been well characterized for this population. No published work has examined the clinical utility of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, Second Edition (BRIEF2) in distinguishing EF in ID. We hypothesized that the BRIEF2 would show greater elevations in youth with ID compared to the Average IQ comparison group. Methods: Participants included a large sample of 504 youth (157 in ID group; aged 8-18 years) referred for (neuro)psychological evaluation (2015-2019) and identified as meeting criteria for either ID or Average IQ comparison group. Results: Significant elevations were found across BRIEF2 indices and scales. Only mild elevations were noted in selective cognitive regulation scales within the Average IQ group. Groups differed significantly across all EF dimensions, with greater differences observed in behavioral regulation (Self-Monitoring, Inhibition), Shift, and Working Memory. An elevated but less variable pattern of index scores was noted in ID, while the overall pattern of scaled scores appeared similar between groups. Conclusions: The less variable and consistently elevated profile may suggest fewer EF dimensions in individuals with ID than the model proposed in the test manual. Similar profiles between groups may reflect differences in severity, rather than differences in constructs measured by the EF factors, per se. Additional examination is needed to confirm potential structural differences in EF for youth with ID as measured by BRIEF2, with a clinical implication for greater efficiency of EF assessment in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1036-1044
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • Behavior rating scale
  • Executive function
  • Inhibition
  • Intellectual disability
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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