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

Objective The Children’s Kitchen Task Assessment (CKTA) is an ecologically valid assessment that was designed to assess executive functioning skills in children age 7-10. Currently there is a lack of ecologically valid assessments that test executive functioning in children under seven years of age. For this reason, this study explored the utility of the CKTA for use with six-year-olds.

Methods This study used an exploratory, qualitative, case study design to facilitate its implementation and used quantitative data to make qualitative inferences about the results. Children were given the CKTA and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-IV Digit Span), a neuropsychological assessment of executive functioning. Parents completed a background questionnaire as well as the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning – Parent Form (Parent BRIEF). The children’s performance on the CKTA was observed and recorded as a narrative and then compared to their performance on the Parent BRIEF and WISC-IV Digit Span.

Results Two typically developing female participants, six years of age participated in this study. There were patterns of advantages and disadvantages of using the CKTA with six-year-olds. The advantages included physical ability to perform the task, the task was motivational for participants, and the participants were able to problem solve by using the pictures in the recipe book. Disadvantages included difficulties with reading, fractions and the sand timer. Overall, researchers found that scores on the neuropsychological tests administered to participants did not correspond with performance scores on the CKTA.

Conclusion The study found that although the CKTA is a feasible assessment to test executive function in children, it poses some challenges for six-year-olds. Based upon the results obtained from this study, researchers suggest several ways to modify the current CKTA assessment in order for it to be better suited for use with six-year-olds. The ideas for modifications were described and it is noted that these changes would not take away the authenticity of this assessment.

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