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Author Notes:

Correspondence and reprint requests to: Sarah N. Mattson, 6330 Alvarado Court, Suite 100, San Diego, CA 92120. sarah.mattson@sdsu.edu

The Collaborative Initiative on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (CIFASD; E. Riley, San Diego State University, Principal Investigator) includes 16 different centers where data collection and analysis take place. The data collection sites and associated investigators described in this paper are: San Diego State University (S.N. Mattson), University of New Mexico and Northern Plains (P.A. May, W. Kalberg), University of California, Los Angeles (E.P. Sowell), Emory University, Atlanta, GA (C.D. Coles, J.A. Kable). Additional sites include the University of Cape Town, South Africa (C.M. Adnams).

The authors thank the families and children who graciously participate in our studies and to the members of the Center for Behavioral Teratology for ongoing assistance and support.

We also acknowledge the efforts in data collection of Kristina Hubbard, Delilah Bolo, and Heather Holden in San Diego; Suzanne Houston, Ariel Starr, and Genevieve Rodriguez in Los Angeles; Sharron Paige-Whitaker in Atlanta; Alfredo Aragón, Ethan White, and Stephanie Rueda in Albuquerque; and Rosemary Bozeman and Carol Keaster in the Northern Plains.

The authors have no financial or other conflicts of interest.


Research Funding:

All or part of this work was done in conjunction with the Collaborative Initiative on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (CIFASD), which is funded by grants from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

Research described in this manuscript was supported by NIAAA grant numbers U01 AA014834 (Mattson), U24 AA014811 (Riley), U24 AA014818 (Barnett), and U24 AA014815 (Jones).

Additional support was provided by NIAAA grant numbers F31 AA021630 (Nguyen), F31 AA022261 (Glass), and T32 AA013525 (Riley).


  • Science & Technology
  • Social Sciences
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurosciences
  • Psychiatry
  • Psychology
  • Neurosciences & Neurology
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD)
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)
  • Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF)
  • Pediatric neuropsychology
  • Parent-report
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • ADHD

The Clinical Utility and Specificity of Parent Report of Executive Function among Children with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure


Journal Title:

Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society


Volume 20, Number 7


, Pages 704-716

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Prenatal alcohol exposure and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) result in behavioral issues related to poor executive function (EF). This overlap may hinder clinical identification of alcohol-exposed children. This study examined the relation between parent and neuropsychological measures of EF and whether parent ratings aid in differential diagnosis. Neuropsychological measures of EF, including the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS), were administered to four groups of children (8-16 years): alcohol-exposed with ADHD (AE+, n=80), alcohol-exposed without ADHD (AE-, n=36), non-exposed with ADHD (ADHD, n=93), and controls (CON, n=167). Primary caregivers completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF). For parent ratings, multivariate analyses of variance revealed main effects of Exposure and ADHD and an interaction between these factors, with significant differences between all groups on nearly all BRIEF scales. For neuropsychological measures, results indicated main effects of Exposure and ADHD, but no interaction. Discriminant function analysis indicated the BRIEF accurately classifies groups. These findings confirm compounded behavioral, but not neuropsychological, effects in the AE+ group over the other clinical groups. Parent-report was not correlated with neuropsychological performance in the clinical groups and may provide unique information about neurobehavior. Parent-report measures are clinically useful in predicting alcohol exposure regardless of ADHD. Results contribute to a neurobehavioral profile of prenatal alcohol exposure.

Copyright information:

Copyright © 2014 INS. Published by Cambridge University Press.

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