Publication Details

Chan, A. & Morgan, S. (2018). Assessing children's cognitive flexibility with the Shape Trail Test. PLoS One, 13 (5), 1-14.


2018 Chan, Morgan. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. In this paper we report an initial validation of the Shape Trail Test-Child Version (STT-CV) with a non-clinical sample of children aged 6 to 9 years. The STT-CV has been developed as an age-appropriate and culturally fair direct downward extension of the Trail Making Test (TMT) for the assessment of cognitive flexibility. Children completed the STT-CV and four established measures of executive functions that assessed working memory, inhibitory control and task switching. Results showed the expected age-based differences in completion times for both parts of the STT-CV (Trail A and Trail B). Children's performance on the STT-CV correlated significantly with all four measures of executive functions. After controlling for the effects of chronological age, completion times for Trail B remained correlated with most other measures of executive functions. These findings provide emerging evidence for the utility of the STT-CV, and highlight the need for designing and using appropriate variants of the TMT in the behavioural assessment of cognitive flexibility in developmentally and culturally diverse populations.



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