Graduation Date

5-2014

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

Department or Program

Occupational Therapy

Department or Program Chair

Ruth Ramsey, Ed.D., OTR/L

First Reader

Julia Wilbarger, Ph.D., OTR/L

Abstract

Background and purpose. The Preschool Kitchen Task Assessment (PKTA) is a newly developed assessment tool based on the principles of the Kitchen Task Assessment (KTA) and may be a valuable tool for assessing executive function (EF). There is a lack of age-appropriate assessments for EF in occupational therapy. The purpose of this study was to examine the use of the PKTA as a new assessment and determine if it is a valid measure of EF in preschool children.

Subjects. The total sample consisted of 11 willing preschool-aged children and their parents, with a female to male ratio of 8:3 and a mean age of 4.5 years.

Methods. A non-experimental exploratory design was utilized to examine the relationship between the PKTA and other neuropsychological assessments. A series Pearson’s correlation coefficients were calculated to examine the relationship between the PKTA and two other neuropsychological tests: BRIEF-P and a modified Digit Span Backward.

Results. A low, non significant correlation between PKTA total score and BRIEF-P GEC score (r = .12). A moderate to good correlation between the PKTA time and BRIEF-P GEC score (r = .68). Little to fair correlations between PKTA total score and the BRIEF-P clinical scales with a range of .17 to .41. A correlation could not be found between PKTA and Digit Span Backward. A moderate, negative correlation found between age in months and PKTA total scores (r = .74). Through qualitative observations, the PKTA was found to be ecologically valid.

Discussion and conclusion. Results revealed weak support that the PKTA is a valid measure in assessing EF in preschoolers. The PKTA is developmentally sensitive to age with support that it is an ecologically valid assessment. The PKTA may be a beneficial tool in order to gain a complete understanding of a child’s needs.

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