Executive Functions: What They Are, How They Work, and Why They Evolved

Executive Functions: What They Are, How They Work, and Why They Evolved

by Russell A. Barkley PhD, ABPP, ABCN


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This groundbreaking book offers a comprehensive theory of executive functioning (EF) with important clinical implications. Synthesizing cutting-edge neuropsychological and evolutionary research, Russell A. Barkley presents a model of EF that is rooted in meaningful activities of daily life. He describes how abilities such as emotion regulation, self-motivation, planning, and working memory enable people to pursue both personal and collective goals that are critical to survival. Key stages of EF development are identified and the far-reaching individual and social costs of EF deficits detailed. Barkley explains specific ways that his model may support much-needed advances in assessment and treatment.

See also Barkley's empirically based, ecologically valid assessment tools: Barkley Deficits in Executive Functioning Scale (BDEFS for Adults) and Barkley Deficits in Executive Functioning Scale--Children and Adolescents (BDEFS-CA).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781462505357
Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
Publication date: 05/01/2012
Pages: 244
Sales rank: 325,408
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Russell A. Barkley, PhD, ABPP, ABCN, is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Virginia Treatment Center for Children and Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. Dr. Barkley has worked with children, adolescents, and families since the 1970s and is the author of numerous bestselling books for both professionals and the public, including Taking Charge of ADHD and Your Defiant Child. He has also published six assessment scales and more than 280 scientific articles and book chapters on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, executive functioning, and childhood defiance, and is editor of the newsletter The ADHD Report. A frequent conference presenter and speaker who is widely cited in the national media, Dr. Barkley is past president of the Section on Clinical Child Psychology (the former Division 12) of the American Psychological Association (APA), and of the International Society for Research in Child and Adolescent Psychopathology. He is a recipient of awards from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the APA, among other honors. His website is www.russellbarkley.org.

Table of Contents

1. Problems with the Concept of Executive Functioning
2. The Extended Phenotype: A Foundation for Modeling Executive Functioning
3. Executive Functioning as an Extended Phenotype
4. The Instrumental–Self-Directed Level
5. The Methodical–Self-Reliant Level
6. The Tactical–Reciprocal Level
7. The Strategic–Cooperative Level
8. The Extended Utilitarian Zone
9. Implications for Understanding Executive Functioning and Its Disorders
10. Implications for the Assessment and Clinical Management of Deficits in Executive Functioning


Clinical psychologists, neuropsychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and forensic psychologists working with children, adolescents, and adults; school psychologists and special educators; psychopathology researchers. May serve as a text in graduate-level courses.

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