Neuroimaging correlates of parent ratings of working memory in typically developing children

E. Mark Mahone, Rebecca Martin, Wendy R. Kates, Trisha Hay, Alena Horská

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The purpose of the present study was to investigate construct validity of parent ratings of working memory in children, using a multi-trait/ multi-method design including neuroimaging, rating scales, and performance-based measures. Thirty-five typically developing children completed performance-based tests of working memory and nonexecutive function (EF) skills, received volumetric MRI, and were rated by parents on both EF-specific and broad behavior rating scales. After controlling for total cerebral volume and age, parent ratings of working memory were significantly correlated with frontal gray, but not temporal, parietal, or occipital gray, or any lobar white matter volumes. Performance-based measures of working memory were also moderately correlated with frontal lobe gray matter volume; however, non-EF parent ratings and non-EF performance-based measures were not correlated with frontal lobe volumes. Results provide preliminary support for the convergent and discriminant validity of parent ratings of working memory, and emphasize their utility in exploring brain-behavior relationships in children. Rating scales that directly examine EF skills may potentially have ecological validity, not only for "everyday" function, but also as correlates of brain volume.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-41
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain volumes
  • Ecological validity
  • Executive function
  • MRI
  • Normal development
  • Rating scales
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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