Committee Chair

Clark, Amanda J.

Committee Member

Ozbek, I. Nicky; Shelton, Jill T.


Dept. of Psychology


College of Arts and Sciences


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


The subtle nature of executive function deficits makes them difficult to identify in a clinical context and to measure how they impact an individual’s daily life. Clinical neuropsychological assessments alone are often unable to measure how executive deficiencies impact an individual’s daily life. The present study investigated the relationship among clinical screening measures of global cognition, measures of executive function, and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs). Adults with Parkinson’s disease and neurologically healthy adults completed a battery of assessments including a clinical measure of general functional ability, the Texas Functional Living Scale (TFLS), and a naturalistic shopping task, the University of Tennessee Chattanooga Multiple Errands Test (UTC-MET). TFLS performance was better able to identify functional impairment, while the UTC-MET was able to distinguish inefficient behavior in Parkinson’s disease participants. Findings stress a symbiotic relationship among clinical and naturalistic measures and highlights the important role executive function plays in both.


I am not sure I will ever fully be able to thank Dr. Amanda Clark for the investment she made in me in February 2011 as an undergraduate. It has been a worthwhile journey working on this project, thank you for the opportunity, availability, and support. I would also like to acknowledge my thesis committee members Dr. Nicky Ozbek and Dr. Jill Shelton. Their time and support throughout my undergraduate and graduate career as well as on this project has been invaluable. Special thanks to Dr. Chris Young for his help on this project and the many opportunities he has provided me to participate in research with him, and also for introducing me to and cultivating my other passion outside of executive function, performance validity. I would also like to acknowledge current and former research team members, Allen Nida, Zane Ritter, Emily Van Zandbergen, and Jennifer Waldroupe. Without their assistance completion of this project would not have been possible. Last but not least, thank you to Jenny, whose friendship and support in all my academic, work, and life projects I am forever grateful for.


M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.




Executive functions (Neuropsychology); Parkinson's disease -- Psychological aspects


executive function; global cognition; instrumental activities of daily living

Document Type

Masters theses




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