Original Research

Examining the internal structure of the Executive Functioning Inventory amongst South African students

Candice Britz, Casper J.J. van Zyl
African Journal of Psychological Assessment | Vol 2 | a26 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajopa.v2i0.26 | © 2020 Candice Britz, Casper J.J. van Zyl | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 March 2020 | Published: 21 September 2020

About the author(s)

Candice Britz, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Casper J.J. van Zyl, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


The role of executive functions in everyday life can hardly be overstated. Its influence ranges from pathological behaviour on the negative side, to quality of life on the positive side of human functioning. Assessment of executive functions includes both objective and subjective measures, which include self-report measures. Most self-report measures, however, were developed for use in clinical populations. The Executive Functioning Inventory (EFI) is a brief self-report measure developed for use in healthy populations. Psychometrically, the measure appears to function reasonably well in American and European populations; however, its internal structure is yet to be examined in South Africa. The aim of this study was to evaluate the internal consistency reliability, item functioning and factor structure of the EFI in this context. The data (n = 1904) were collected amongst students at a large urban university of the Gauteng province of South Africa. McDonald’s omega reliability estimates were mostly satisfactory with some exceptions, ranging between 0.59 and 0.76. A five-factor model consistent with a multidimensional view of executive functioning found modest support in this data. With the exception of two items, item response theory analysis further found the items of the EFI to function well on their respective subscales. Overall, the results were largely consistent with previous findings, providing initial support for its use in South Africa, especially, for research studies seeking a brief index of executive functioning or as part of a comprehensive assessment of executive functioning, if required.


executive functioning; self-report; reliability; validity; confirmatory factor analysis


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