Earlier identification of executive deficits in preschool children using an ecological approach would give more scope for intervention. The Preschool Executive Task Assessment (PETA) was developed to resemble an everyday age-appropriate task in order to examine the self-direction and integration of executive functions during a multistep task. It was designed so that performance can be evaluated in a microanalytic way and so individualized feedback and support can be easily communicated. The utility of the PETA was assessed with 166 three-to five-year olds. Results showed improved performance with increasing age and verbal intellectual quotient as well as good task reliability and utility. Evidence for influence of socioeconomic status, gender, and use of self-talk was also observed. Clinical applications and future directions of this novel measure are discussed.
- Executive function
- ecological assessment
- neurodevelopmental disorders
- neuropsychological assessment