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SLP’s executive function services (Senter & Chow, 2023)

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posted on 2023-09-14, 13:43 authored by Reed Senter, Jason C. Chow

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine school-based speech-language pathologists’ (SLPs’) implementation of services to address students’ executive function (EF) needs, with particular emphasis on the prevalence and characteristics of EF interventions and the factors and barriers that influence service provision for students with EF needs.

Method: We applied an explanatory sequential mixed-methods research design, beginning with a quantitative survey followed by a series of qualitative interviews. We analyzed the survey results using descriptive data and binary logistic regressions and used the emergent trends to inform our interview protocol, so that we could explore those trends in greater detail and context. We synthesized our quantitative and qualitative data to evaluate the characteristics of EF interventions and the factors influencing services.

Results: Most SLPs reported that they addressed their students’ EF needs through some sort of direct or indirect intervention. Direct interventions varied by targeted domain, service delivery setting, and teaching techniques, though most SLPs favored strategy instruction and highly contextualized services. Indirect services included accommodations and consultation. SLPs commonly reported the lack of collaborative support, time, and knowledge as barriers, and most reported that professional development would be helpful to improve their services.

Conclusions: Speech-language pathology graduate programs and providers of professional development should be mindful of their role in preparing SLPs to address EF needs, while SLPs may use these results to inform their own practice. Further guidance and research are necessary to elucidate the SLPs’ role in mitigating the negative impact of EF challenges on students’ education.

Supplemental Material S1. Survey protocol.

Supplemental Material S2. Interview protocol.

Supplemental Material S3. Qualitative codebook.

Senter, R., & Chow, J. C. (2023). A mixed-methods analysis of speech-language pathologists’ executive function services. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 32(6), 2734–2751.


This research was supported in part by a doctoral study grant awarded to the first author by the University of Maryland’s Support Program for Advancing Research and Collaboration.