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VINE VOICEon January 24, 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have to admit here that I am not reviewing this book from the perspective of a psychologist. I am a special educator, and I am looking at it not as the writer of assessment reports, but as the reader of those reports. Often, we look at the numbers, tables and the technical terminology, and it all fades into meaningless jargon. These "Essenbtials of Psychological Assessment" books are very useful because they help me to read and gather meaningful data from those assessment reports. They also include introduction segments that clearly define and explain not only the conditions, but also a lot of the technical terminology being used.
This book starts with a general overview of Executive Functions - what are they?
Often the term is used in school to mean personal organization (Things in bookbag, use of agenda for time management, assignments turned in on time, etc), but actually is is more complicated than that. The section provides a model of executive functioning that encompasses several different domains (perception, emotion, cognition, action), and has impact across most major life functions. It also provides a relatively simple model for understanding the concept - executive function as the 'co-conductor' of an orchestra of input, cognition, and action. This is not the deepest or most thorough study of the subject. It is provided to set the basis for the bulk of the book, which is assessment. The book then goes into depth on the various assessments, (strengths and weaknesses of each, and how to interpret the various test/subtest scores - this is dry, but can be useful if you are trying to interpret scores with papers and test protocols in hand. The book is filled with rapid reference tables. These tend to centralize the data and help when you are trying to cut through to the important materials. There is a CD with several of the appendices in it. This includes some interview questions of teachers/parents use. I do not reccommend that untrained personnel use these are assessment tools, but they can provide some insight. Obviously, this is not light reading. It is not a good book if you are trying to learn about Executive Functioning and Executive Functioning Deficits. On the other hand, if you need a reference to understand what thosr reports mean, then this is a very handy and useful tool.
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VINE VOICEon February 18, 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a book that describes "thinking about thinking." If you're reading this review you probably think of yourself as a thoughtful person. So, how did you get to be so thoughtful?

The human brain is composed of interrelated regions, but most clinicians agree that the frontal cortex is where metacognition - or higher order processing, planning and executing - takes place. This level of organized thought is called executive functioning (EF).

Children who exhibit impulse control issues, organizational and memory challenges are thought to have EF deficiencies. Authors McCloskey and Perkins write that "when EF difficulties are addressed effectively, a (child) can learn effectively."

Since most standardized learning takes place in school, their scholarly work is crammed with charts, graphs, breakouts, case studies, and an accompanying CD loaded with developmental forms and assessment reports, that describe a clinical approach to the educational environment by strengthening and expanding on existing supports such as 504 and IEP plans.

It's a complex, multi-disciplined, longterm, labor intensive and expensive (the testing alone can cost thousands of dollars plus the therapeutic support), approach to cognitive development so that higher order learning can take place. I gave this book 5 stars simply because I found the material so fascinating. I also thought the CD case studies helped to clarify the material.

EF Functions Assessment is an outstanding piece of clinical literature that describes why EF deficits occur, how to recognize them in children and the tools to improve these essential cognitive skills for an optimal learning experience.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Essentials of Executive Functions Assessment (Essentials of Psychological Assessment) is a very good text that provides all the information you need to administer, score and interpret executive functions assessment tests. It is not what I would call accessible, yet it is very thorough in covering the research underpinnings of the various related disciplines. That's what makes it much more than just a resource for clinicians who are trying to administer EFAs.

The foundational information on executive functioning brings together a wide array of research and differing approaches in a cohesive way. So this could potentially be a very useful refresher for somebody who is interested in neuroscience or psychology. It allows the reader to make sense of the many different approaches for thinking about executive functioning.

The sections are well organized. The authors have segregated key information into "rapid reference" sections so they can easily be referred to. These sections are ideal for study, review and reference alike. And the helpful hints and "caution" sections provide practical guidance that will help clinical practitioners avoid common pitfalls.

There were some oversights. The book's references are not all correct. For example, on page 23 it directs readers to Figure 1.6 for an outline of the 5 tiers of executive function capacity. I could not locate that figure in the text. Perhaps it was moved to a different chapter without the reference being updated. Perhaps it was removed from the text. The subsequent text made it easy to follow the authors, but the figure would have likely enhanced the information presented.

Similarly, the author's include references in parenthesis. Footnotes would have made the book easier to digest. Here it interferes with the fluidity of the text. Considering the technical nature of much of the content, anything that could make it more readable is a plus.


This is a good treatment of a very complicated topic. It covers a lot of ground, providing both theoretical and hands-on information. And the sample forms and resources provided on the included CD are very useful. This is a quality book and I recommend it both to the clinical practitioner as well as to anybody trying to educate themselves on the topic.

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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon February 4, 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book functions as a textbook for those who want to understand executive function and how to test for it. It includes an introductory section which explains how executive function works as well as copious information on how to interpret tests. There are also sample questions for testing various populations on the included CD-ROM. All in all, it is a very comprehensive reference for those who need to assess executive function as part of their work.

While assessing executive function is integral when dealing with children, it is also useful when dealing with people who suffer from certain mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or obsessive compulsive disorder. If this book has any "weakness" regarding its subject matter, it is that it focuses almost entirely on testing and evaluating the results in regards to children. This is, almost certainly, because the primary concern and focus on testing executive function is in dealing with children. However, I would have liked to have gotten more about how such testing might assist with elderly populations in assessing dementia or the mentally ill. This may be being nitpicky though, as the book caters to the points in which such testing is generally applied.

It is important to note that this book is not for beginner's. The introductory chapter dives right in and assumes some understanding of the basic concept of executive function. It is deep and specific and assumes the reader already knows something about executive function and is involved in the assessment of it. This is by no means a failing of the book. In fact, it makes it a far better reference guide for a therapist's or other childcare professional's library, but it is worth noting to potential buyers who may be looking for something to teach them the basics. Though an excellent reference guide and a textbook (it has questions to test yourself), it is not for novices.
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on February 28, 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book provide a comprehensive coverage for the practitioner. It covers definitions of executive functions, guidelines for how to perform assessments, testing and test types and report writing. The book includes a CD that contains sample forms and full case study reports. The chapters are interspersed with "Rapid Reference Sections" and end with review questions.

Executive Functions Assessment covers a broad spectrum development related to mental constructs associated with perception, cognition, emotion and action and how those are used within the arenas of intrapersonal, interpersonal, environment and symbol use. Some of the infographics were poorly presented and too busy - suffering in some cases due to colour images being rendered in monochrome. I would recommend that the publisher consider providing a searchable pdf of the book on the CD in future editions. This would allow readers to see the full colour images of diagrams and perhaps allow better organization of the information.
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VINE VOICEon February 15, 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Executive function assessment is probably most commonly used in school aged kids, and this book is absolutely great at explaining the background behind executive function, how the domains fit together, and how to test and interpret test results for kids this age. That said, I felt like the book left out a lot when it comes to options for testing executive function in preschool aged children, or in those recovering from things like traumatic brain injuries. Despite those gaps, I still think the book is quite worthwhile -- it does a good job of grounding you in the different domains, so that even if you're working with a different population than the book's focus, you've still learned a lot that will help in making good decisions on which tests to use and how to use them.
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VINE VOICEon May 14, 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am a social worker working in a medical setting. Screening tools are vital parts of my assessments. I found this book to be hard to follow and redundant. There are call out boxes that are almost word for word what is in the text (I assume call out boxes are to summarize or bullet point not to be a place to just reprint bullet points that are already in the text.

This book was hard to follow. I don't do executive function assessments and I thought this would be helpful in learning about them. Instead I just found this book to be confusing and frustrating.
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VINE VOICEon February 4, 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Reviewer Disclaimer: This was received as a Review Product for the Amazon Vine Program. This program does NOT compensate nor reward for positive reviews.
While there's much to-do about the value of executive functions assessment, I've admittedly been a skeptic about its overall, clinical value. This book made me a believer.

To explain, 'Essentials of Executive Functions Assessment' is yet another outstanding book in the 'Essentials' series, one that while written by school psychs and focused on children, makes the content extraordinarily accessible for clinical psychs working with adult populations. With there arguably too much separation between these fields in presentation and theoretical underpinnings, this is certainly not the case in this thankfully anomalous book.

McCloskey and Perkins display strong theoretical understanding of executive functioning, a complicated concept to understand, even more so its importance in assessment plus role in literally every functioning aspect of a person's life. They did such a good job in detailing these items, I was left wondering whether the DSM might want to include executive functions as a diagnostic criteria.

Looking deeper, the individual section on completing assessments stands as a highlight of this book, and wonderfully breaks down mainstream batteries for assessing executive functioning and what they hope to achieve. Also, the accompanying CD nicely categories sub-domains of executive functioning, and with it ones a clinician might want to emphasize.

In sum: I confess this book's greatest initial draw was curiosity. I left it surprisingly married to the value of executive functions in assessment, this literally a game changer in my approach to this phenomena. School and clinical psychs would do well to add this to their library, perhaps the most thorough book to date on executive functions.
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VINE VOICEon February 13, 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Essentials of executive functions Assessment could be a useful book for clinicians who often conduct psychological testing and write reports. The book is not as easy and clear to use as it is claimed. As a matter of fact it can be confusing and takes some time to decipher. This is not a book that will help you learn about executive functioning despite the authors and the publishers' claim. The promotional statement of the book can be misleading, because it proclaims that this volume is designed for professionals who want to learn how to administer, score, and interpret popular assessments of executive functions, while in reality, it does not.
The chapters of this volume are succinct and feature callout boxes highlighting key concepts. In addition, it comes with a CD-ROM that contains interview forms for parents and teachers, student observation forms, and other rating scales, as well as case-study reference material and samples of psychoeducational reports.
I am not recommending this book. However, if you often review clinical reports and conduct executive functioning assessments you might find this book workable.
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on January 24, 2016
Wish it had more information on the specific subtetst of the DKEFS
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