Ratings of Everyday Executive Functioning (REEF): A parent-report measure of preschoolers’ executive functioning skills.


Executive functioning (EF) facilitates the development of academic, cognitive, and social-emotional skills and deficits in EF are implicated in a broad range of child psychopathologies. Although EF has clear implications for early development, the few questionnaires that assess EF in preschoolers tend to ask parents for global judgments of executive dysfunction and thus do not cover the full range of EF within the preschool age group. Here we present a new measure of preschoolers’ EF-the Ratings of Everyday Executive Functioning (REEF)-that capitalizes on parents’ observations of their preschoolers’ (i.e., 3- to 5-year-olds) behavior in specific, everyday contexts. Over 4 studies, items comprising the REEF were refined and the measure’s reliability and validity were evaluated. Factor analysis of the REEF yielded 1 factor, with items showing strong internal reliability. More important, children’s scores on the REEF related to both laboratory measures of EF and another parent-report EF questionnaire. Moreover, reflecting divergent validity, the REEF was more strongly related to measures of EF as opposed to measures of affective styles. The REEF also captured differences in children’s executive skills across the preschool years, and norms at 6-month intervals are reported. In summary, the REEF is a new parent-report measure that provides researchers with an efficient, valid, and reliable means of assessing preschoolers’ executive functioning.