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, 25 (2), 343-55

Executive Function in Daily Life: Age-related Influences of Executive Processes on Instrumental Activities of Daily Living

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Executive Function in Daily Life: Age-related Influences of Executive Processes on Instrumental Activities of Daily Living

Leslie Vaughan et al. Psychol Aging.

Abstract

The present study of older adults used structural equation modeling (SEM) to examine the relationships between 3 executive processes underlying executive function (EF) (inhibition, task switching, updating in working memory), and 2 types of instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) (self-report, performance based). Experimental tasks of executive attention and self-report or performance-based IADL tests were administered to create latent constructs of EF and IADLs. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to examine the construct validity of EF and IADLs. This analysis indicated a 3-factor model of inhibition, updating, and task switching and a 2-factor model of self-report and performance-based IADLs. As predicted, when the latent variable relationships were analyzed, executive processes had a significant relationship with performance-based, but not self-report, IADLs. In addition, task switching had a strong and significant relationship with performance-based IADLs. The results of this study uniquely show a direct relationship between executive processes and performance-based IADLs, thus demonstrating the ecological utility of experimental measures of EF to predict daily function. Furthermore, these results point to areas of cognitive training that may strategically impact older adults' performance on daily life activities.

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