Executive functions, time organization and quality of life among adults with learning disabilities

Kineret Sharfi, Sara Rosenblum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study compared the executive functions, organization in time and perceived quality of life (QoL) of 55 adults with learning disabilities (LD) with those of 55 matched controls (mean age 30 years). Furthermore, relationships and predictive relationships between these variables among the group with LD were examined. Methods: All participants completed the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Functions (BRIEF-A), the Time Organization and Participation (TOPS, A-C) and the World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL) questionnaires. Chi-square tests, independent t-tests and MANOVA were used to examine group differences in each of the subscales scores and ratings of each instrument. Pearson correlations and regression predictive models were used to examine the relationships between the variables in the group with LD. Results: Adults with LD had significantly poorer executive functions (BRIEF-A), deficient organization in time abilities (TOPS A-B), accompanied with negative emotional response (TOPS - C), and lower perceived QoL (physical, psychological, social and environmental) in comparison to adults without LD. Regression analysis revealed that Initiation (BRIEF-A) significantly predicted approximately 15% of the participants' organization in time abilities (TOPS A, B scores) beyond group membership. Furthermore, initiation, emotional control (BRIEF-A subscales) and emotional responses following unsuccessful organization of time (TOPS-C) together accounted for 39% of the variance of psychological QoL beyond the contribution of group membership. Conclusions: Deficits in initiation and emotional executive functions as well as organization in time abilities and emotional responses to impairments in organizing time affect the QoL of adults with LD and thus should be considered in further research as well as in clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0166939
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Sharfi, Rosenblum.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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