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Comprehensive Executive Function Inventory®

Jack A. Naglieri, Ph.D., and Sam Goldstein, Ph.D.


The CEFI® is a comprehensive evaluation of executive function strengths and weaknesses in youth aged 5 to 18 years.

The Purpose of the CEFI
The CEFI is a versatile instrument that can be used to evaluate an individual, using standard scores to compare the youth to a nationally representative norm group. This information can ultimately be used to guide assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning. The CEFI is also useful in a variety of research contexts and can be used as an effective tool to evaluate the success of an intervention program.

How the CEFI Works
Authored by Jack. A. Naglieri, Ph.D., and Sam Goldstein, Ph.D., the CEFI is the most representative nationally standardized behavior rating scale of executive function. Reliability and validity data indicate it has strong psychometric qualities. With 100 items on a Likert-type scale -90 are distributed among the CEFI scales and 10 on the Positive and Negative Impression Scales - the CEFI offers Parent, Teacher, and Self-Report (12 to 18 years) Forms, allowing for a multi-rater perspective of a youth's executive function. The CEFI can be administered online, via email, or with paper.

Following administration, all CEFI forms can be scored using the MHS QuikScoreTM Format, MHS Scoring Software, or online. There are three types of reports that can be generated from all forms: the Interpretive Report (provides detailed results from one administration), the Progress Monitoring and Treatment Effectiveness Report (provides an evaluation of CEFI score changes over time for up to four administrations from the same rater), and the Comparative report (provides an analysis of scores from two to five different raters).

Intended for use by professionals such as psychologists, school psychologists, clinical social workers, physicians, counselors, psychiatric workers, and pediatric/psychiatric nurses, the CEFI is an effective and reliable tool for evaluating executive function.
The CEFI was developed to measure a wide spectrum of behaviors associated with executive function. In addition to a Full Scale score, calculated by adding responses to 90 of the items, the CEFI utilizes nine scales to pinpoint targets for intervention.

Scales & Forms

The scales used in the CEFI have been developed to measure a wide spectrum of behaviors associated with executive functioning.  The scores which emerge from these scales are based upon a nationally representative normative sample (aged 5 to 18 years) of a diverse group of individuals.

In addition to a Full Scale Score calculated by adding responses to 90 of the items, the CEFI utilizes nine rationally-derived scales to pinpoint targets for intervention:


  • Attention - measures how well a youth can avoid distractions, concentrate on tasks, and sustain attention
  • Emotion Regulation - measures a youth'scontrol and management of emotions
  • Flexibility - describes how well a youth can adapt to circumstances, including problem solving ability
  • Inhibitory Control - reflects a youth's control over behavior or impulses
  • Initiation - describes a youth's ability to begin tasks or projects without being prompted
  • Organization - describes how well a youth manages personal effects, work, or multiple tasks
  • Planning - reflects how well a youth develops and implements strategies to accomplish tasks
  • Self-Monitoring - describes a youth's self-evaluation of his/her performance or behavior
  • Working Memory - measures how a youth keeps important information in mind in order that he/she know what to do and how to do it, including remembering important things, instructions, and steps

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Author Jack A. Naglieri, Ph.D., and Sam Goldstein, Ph.D.

Age Range 5 to 18 years

Administration Time 15 minutes

Administration Type
  • Parent-completed
  • Teacher-completed
  • Youth-completed (ages 12-18)
Qualification Level