Behavioural Assessment of Dysexecutive Syndrome for Children


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Note: This test review was done by BPS on 28th June 2013

Description of the Test

The Behavioural Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome for Children (BADS-C) is a test of executive functioning. It is a development of the adult Behavioural Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome (BADS) which is intended for those between 16-87 years. The authors aimed to produce an ecologically valid instrument that predicts the presence and severity of executive problems in everyday life. It is designed to examine inflexibility and perseveration, novel problem solving, impulsivity, planning and the ability to utilise feedback and moderate one’s behaviour accordingly - all aspects of the Dysexecutive Syndrome. It asks the examiner to look not only at the level of competence a child can demonstrate in a particular situation but also at how the task was attempted. The scoring system attempts to capture the qualitative richness of the observational data. The BADS-C is a battery of six individually administered performance tests of executive functioning for children and adolescents with neuro-developmental disorders such as ADHD, Pervasive Development Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury and has been standardised and normed for those of ages 7 to 16 years. The test was originally published in 2003; the data for 7-year-olds were added in 2006. The six sub-tests are: the ‘Playing Card Test’, a test of cognitive flexibility; the ‘Water Test’, which measures the development of a problem solving plan of action; the ‘Key Search Test’ assesses children’s ability to plan an efficient systematic, implementable plan of action, monitor their own performance and take into account factors that are not explicitly stated; the ‘Zoo Map Tests 1 and 2’ are two further tests of planning, the first a more difficult ‘open-ended’ task and the second a less demanding rule based activity; the ‘Six Part Test’ measures planning, task scheduling and performance monitoring. The Dysexecutive Questionnaire for Children (DEX-C), a 20 item Likert scaled caregiver/teacher completed questionnaire, is designed to reflect the range of problems experienced with Dysexecutive Syndrome and covers emotional/personality, motivational, behavioural and cognitive difficulties. The authors report that the BADS-C should be useful to clinical and educational psychologists, neuropsychologists, child psychologists, paediatricians, research assistants and health professionals. Test users are required to have the Pearson Assessment ‘CL1’ qualification code which includes: “Anyone who (i) is registered with the HPC (sic) as a Practitioner Psychologist, and (ii) either is a Chartered Psychologist with the BPS, or has the protected titles of Clinical, Forensic, Counselling or Educational Psychologist.

Test Publisher: Pearson Assessment

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