Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Executive functioning is a multifaceted collection of higher-order cognitive processes used to perform goal-oriented tasks. Although this construct is heavily researched, a major issue regarding the current literature stems from the influence of task impurity, which interferes with how executive functioning performance is interpreted. Additionally, while executive functioning has been previously explored in clinical populations, less work has evaluated this topic measuring dimensional psychopathology. The present study sought to examine the role of executive functioning, as it relates to dimensional psychopathology. Data was analyzed from a total of 731 individuals between the age of 18-59 years who took part in the Nathan Kline Institute (NKI)-Rockland project. A three-factor model of executive functioning (i.e., inhibition, shifting, and fluency) proposed by Karr et al. (2018) using scores primarily from the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) and an original three-factor model of dimensional psychopathology (i.e., internalizing, externalizing, and thought disorder symptoms) using the Adult Self-Report (ASR) and Peter’s et al. Delusions Inventory (PDI) were constructed with confirmatory factor analyses and then compared using structural equation modeling. Results supported both three-factor models as having adequate fit for this sample and indicated that internalizing and externalizing psychopathology had positive and negative relationships with different factors of executive functioning, while thought disorders traits were not related to executive functioning. Implications for future work are discussed.



Committee Chair

Calamia, Matthew