Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Short, reliable, easily administered executive function (EF) assessment tools are needed to measure EF in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa given the prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated neurocognitive disorder. We administered Oxford Cognitive Screen-Executive Function (OCS-EF) to 932 rural South African females (mean age 19.7 years). OCS-EF includes seven tasks: two hot inhibition tasks (a modified Iowa Gambling Task, emotional go/no-go) and five cool EF tasks, two switching tasks (visuospatial rule-finding, geometric trails) and three working memory tasks (digit recall, selection and figure drawing). We performed confirmatory factor analysis testing whether a three-factor, two-factor hot-cool, two-factor working memory and inhibition/switching, or one-factor EF model fitted the data better. The three-factor (switching, inhibition and working memory) model had the best local and global fit (χ2 (11) 24.21, p = 0.012; RMSEA 0.036; CFI 0.920; CD 0.617). We demonstrated the feasibility of OCS-EF administration by trained laypeople, the tripartite structure of EF amongst adolescent females and the factorial validity of OCS-EF in this population and context. OCS-EF tablet-based cognitive assessment tool can be administered by trained laypeople and is a valid tool for assessing cognition at scale amongst adolescents in rural South Africa and similar environments.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Psychol

Publication Date



Adolescents, Africa, Cognition, Executive function, Low- and middle-income countries