Reliability and validity of two self-report measures of cognitive flexibility

Carly Johnco, Viviana M. Wuthrich*, Ronald M. Rapee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)
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Neuropsychological testing currently represents the gold standard in assessing cognitive flexibility. However, this format presents some challenges in terms of time and skills required for administration, scoring, and interpretation. Two self-report measures of cognitive flexibility have been developed to measure aspects of cognitive flexibility in everyday settings, although neither has been validated in an older sample. In this study, we investigated the psychometric properties of 2 self-report measures of cognitive flexibility, the Cognitive Flexibility Inventory (CFI; Dennis & Vander Wal, 2010) and the Cognitive Flexibility Scale (CFS; Martin & Rubin, 1995), against neuropsychological measures of cognitive flexibility in a clinical sample of 47 older adults with comorbid anxiety and depression and a nonclinical sample of 53 community-dwelling older adults. Internal consistency was good for the CFS and CFI in all samples. The clinical sample reported poorer cognitive flexibility than did the nonclinical sample on self-report measures and performed more poorly on some neuropsychological measures. There was evidence of convergent validity between the 2 self-report measures but little relationship between the self-report and neuropsychological measures of cognitive flexibility, suggesting that self-report measures assess a different aspect of cognitive flexibility than does neuropsychological testing. Divergent validity was weak from measures of anxiety and depression in the combined and nonclinical samples but acceptable in the clinical sample. Results suggest that these measures are suitable for use with an older adult sample but do not assess the same aspects of cognitive flexibility as are assessed by neuropsychological assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1381-1387
Number of pages7
JournalPsychological Assessment
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

Bibliographical note

This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers, This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.


  • Aging
  • Assessment
  • Cognitive flexibility
  • Executive function
  • Neuropsychological


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