Executive dysfunctions across adulthood: Measurement properties and correlates of the DEX self-report questionnaire

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Adult lifespan; Executive functions; Structural equation modeling; Test validity


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Difficulties in executive processes can disturb daily life functioning. Using data obtained from two independent community-dwelling samples (n1=468, n2=669, 18–97 years), we examined the factor structure of the Dysexecutive Functioning Questionnaire (DEX) and explored the frequencies and potential correlates of self reported executive difficulties. Our results revealed that executive problems are parsimoniously described with one underlying factor. Everyday executive dysfunctions were moderately frequent throughout adulthood. Reports of executive problems were associated with individual difference characteristics including age, subjective health, personality, affect, and cognition. We also found that, although executive functions are known to decline with advancing adult age, younger age groups reported more problems than older groups, an effect that was partially mediated by a negative affect factor. We discuss implications for the validity of the instrument as well as directions for future research on executive functioning difficulties in everyday life.

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