Measuring the development of executive control with the shape school

Kimberly Andrews Espy, Rebecca Bull, Jessica Martin, Walter Stroup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Although several neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders can emerge during the preschool period, there are comparatively few instruments to assess executive control. Evidence for validity of the Shape School (K. A. Espy, 1997) was examined in a sample of 219 typically developing young children. There was good evidence for validity, as Shape School performance variables were interrelated and were associated to other criterion measures considered to measure aspects of executive control. Also suggesting validity, the Shape School variables varied as a function of whether the task demands (a) were executive, (b) required inhibition of a prepotent response or context-controlled selection among relevant stimulus-response sets, and (c) included unitary or concurrent processing. The Shape School may be an effective tool by which to measure executive control in young children who have atypical developmental patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-381
Number of pages9
JournalPsychological Assessment
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • Cognitive assessment
  • Executive function
  • Hierarchical linear modeling
  • Preschoolers
  • Shape School

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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