Association of self-reported executive function and mood with executive function task performance across adult populations

Sarahjane L. Dube, Stacey Sigmon, Robert R. Althoff, Kim Dittus, Diann E. Gaalema, Doris E. Ogden, Julie Phillips, Philip Ades, Alexandra S. Potter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Executive function (EF) impacts behavior associated with health outcomes. EF can be measured using self-report and/or performance measures, but the correlations between these types of measures are mixed in the extant literature. This study examined self-report and performance-based measures of EF using data from 6 studies, including community and clinical populations (410 participants, ages 19–80, 71% female). Partial correlations revealed significant relationships between performance on the Trail making, Delay Discounting, and Stop Signal tasks with self-reported EF (p <.006 after controlling for age). Mood scores were significantly related to all self-reported domains of EF (p <.0001), and mood and EF scores were correlated over time. When also controlling for mood, correlations between delay discounting and stop signal tasks with self-reported EF remained significant (p <.006). Finally, examining EF scores in participants with and without clinically elevated mood scores showed a wider distribution of self-reported EF scores among those with clinically elevated mood symptoms than among those without. We conclude that self-reported EF is associated with tasks measuring delay discounting and response inhibition in our large, heterogenous population and that assessing EF may be particularly important for those with high levels of mood symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)605-616
Number of pages12
JournalApplied neuropsychology. Adult
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Executive function
  • delay discounting
  • response inhibition
  • self-regulation
  • self-report

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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