Can Executive Functions Predict Study Progress Among College Students with Autism?
Objectives: To determine whether daily EF and performance-based EF can predict study progress in college students with ASD.
Methods: Fifty-four young adults college students with ASD (Mage = 22.48, SD = 2.43, 72% male) were recruited and followed-up for 6 months to determine their study progress. At baseline the adult self-report version of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning (BRIEF-A) and computerized subtasks of the Amsterdam Neuropsychological Tasks (ANT) were assessed to measure daily EF and performance-based EF, respectively. The Social Responsiveness Scale for Adults (SRS-A) was included to assess autism symptom severity. After six months the total proportion of collected study credits was calculated. Correlational analyses and regression models were conducted to determine the best predictors of study progress.
Results: The initial results showed that cognitive flexibility, working memory (both ANT), and planning/organizing skills (BRIEF) were significantly correlated with study progress. Subsequent regression analyses indicated that although these EF skills were able to explain a significant amount of variance in study progress, only planning/organizing skills was a significant predictor above and beyond autism symptom severity.
Conclusions: These preliminary findings suggest that mapping daily EF in young adults with ASD in higher education can potentially aid in increasing their odds of a successful academic outcome.
See more of: Adult Outcome: Medical, Cognitive, Behavioral, Social, Adaptive, Vocational