Gerard Gioia, Ph.D., Peter Isquith, Ph.D., Steven Guy, Ph.D., and Lauren Kenworthy, Ph.D.


Assess executive function behaviors in the school and home environments with the BRIEF, a questionnaire developed for parents and teachers of school-age children. Designed to assess the abilities of a broad range of children and adolescents, the BRIEF is useful when working with children who have learning disabilities and attention disorders, traumatic brain injuries, lead exposure, pervasive developmental disorders, depression, and other developmental, neurological, psychiatric, and medical conditions.

Features and benefits

Provides multiple perspectives. The Parent and Teacher Forms of the BRIEF each contain 86 items that measure different aspects of executive function.
Specific normative data based on age and gender. Separate normative tables for parent and teacher forms provide T scores, percentiles, and 90% confidence intervals for four developmental age groups by gender of the child.
Nonoverlapping scales. Theoretically and statistically derived scales measure different aspects of a child or adolescent’s behavior, such as his or her ability to control impulses, move freely from one situation to the next, modulate responses, anticipate future events, and keep track of the effect of his or her behavior on others.

Test structure

Eight clinical scales (Inhibit, Shift, Emotional Control, Initiate, Working Memory, Plan/Organize, Organization of Materials, Monitor) and two validity scales (Inconsistency and Negativity) give the clinician a well-rounded picture of the behavior of the child or adolescent being rated.
The clinical scales form two broader Indexes (Behavioral Regulation and Metacognition) and an overall score, the Global Executive Composite.
The Working Memory and Inhibit scales differentiate among ADHD subtypes.

Technical information

Normative data are based on child ratings from 1,419 parents and 720 teachers from rural, suburban, and urban areas.
The clinical sample included children with developmental disorders or acquired neurological disorders (e.g., reading disorder, ADHD subtypes, traumatic brain injury, Tourette’s disorder, mental retardation, localized brain lesions, high functioning autism).
High internal consistency (α's = .80-.98) and test-retest reliability (rs = .82 for parents, .88 for teachers) were found.


The BRIEF-A is a standardized measure that captures views of an adult’s executive functions or self-regulation in his or her everyday environment. Both a self-report and an informant report are used.

Features and benefits

Based on the original
BRIEF, the BRIEF-A is composed of 75 items within nine nonoverlapping theoretically and empirically derived clinical scales: Inhibit, Self-Monitor, Plan/Organize, Shift, Initiate, Task Monitor, Emotional Control, Working Memory, and Organization of Materials.
Useful for a wide variety of developmental, systemic, neurological, and psychiatric disorders such as attention disorders, learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, depression, mild cognitive impairment, dementias, and schizophrenia.

Test structure

Two broad indexes (Behavioral Regulation and Metacognition), an overall summary score, and three validity scales (Negativity, Inconsistency, and Infrequency) are included.

Technical information

Normative sample included 1,136 adults from a wide range of racial/ethnic backgrounds, educational backgrounds, and geographic regions. Profiles for diagnostic groups, including ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis, are presented.
The BRIEF-A has demonstrated evidence of reliability, validity, and clinical utility as an ecologically sensitive measure of executive functioning in individuals with a range of conditions across a wide age range.


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20 minutes

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2-18 years old

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Executive functions

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