Executive dysfunctions across adulthood: Measurement properties and correlates of the DEX self-report questionnaire

Denis Gerstorf, Karen L. Siedlecki, Elliot M. Tucker-Drob, Timothy A. Salthouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Difficulties in executive processes can disturb daily life functioning. Using data obtained from two independent community-dwelling samples (n1=468, n2=669, 18-97 years), we examined the factor structure of the Dysexecutive Functioning Questionnaire (DEX) and explored the frequencies and potential correlates of self-reported executive difficulties. Our results revealed that executive problems are parsimoniously described with one underlying factor. Everyday executive dysfunctions were moderately frequent throughout adulthood. Reports of executive problems were associated with individual difference characteristics including age, subjective health, personality, affect, and cognition. We also found that, although executive functions are known to decline with advancing adult age, younger age groups reported more problems than older groups, an effect that was partially mediated by a negative affect factor. We discuss implications for the validity of the instrument as well as directions for future research on executive functioning difficulties in everyday life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)424-445
Number of pages22
JournalAging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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