Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PhD)


Center for Psychological Studies

First Advisor

Charles Golden

Second Advisor

Ed Simco

Third Advisor

Sarah Valley-Gray


Acculturation, Assessment, Hispanic, Latin, Neuropsychology, Spanish


The current study was conducted to obtain preliminary data on the Nova Multilingual Neuropsychological Battery (NMNB) from a sample of 95 undergraduate and graduate university students (46 monolingual English and 49 bilingual English-Spanish speakers). The measure consisted of 39 subtests and an effort measure in English and Spanish, developed to account for language and cultural factors hypothesized to influence neuropsychological test results. The subtests included measures of mental status, reading comprehension, short-term and long-term verbal and visual spatial memory, short-term and long-term verbal and visual spatial recognition memory, motor coordination, processing speed, serial learning, anomia, and executive functioning. An acculturation measure was also administered. It was hypothesized that there would be a significant difference in performance between the Bilingual Spanish group compared to the Monolingual English and Bilingual English groups, with anticipated better performance in the Monolingual English and Bilingual English groups compared to the Bilingual Spanish group. It was also hypothesized that there would be a significant positive correlation between level of acculturation and test performance. Results of ANCOVAs, controlling for the effects of age and education, compared the performance of 20 bilingual participants on the Spanish version of the test between the 46 English monolinguals and 29 bilingual participants administered the English version of the test. Results of the ANCOVA's did not generally support the hypothesis at the p < .01 level that bilingual speakers administered the Spanish version of this measure would perform significantly lower compared to bilingual speakers or monolingual English speakers administered the English version. The subtest Verbal Command was significant for poorer performance in the Bilingual Spanish group compared to the Bilingual English group. The subtest Categorical Fluency was significant for poorer performance in the Bilingual Spanish group compared to the Monolingual English group and the Bilingual English group. The results of Pearson Product-Moment correlations (p < .01) did not support the hypothesis of a positive correlation between acculturation and test performance for the bilingual groups. Only three of the 39 subtests were correlated with acculturation in the he Bilingual English group. These results were inconsistent with prior research on neuropsychological test performance for Spanish-speaking populations. Previous research on several Spanish neuropsychological measures administered to Spanish-speaking participants, such as the Mini Mental State Exam, Digit Span, and the Spanish Naming Test, typically resulted in significantly poorer performance for bilingual or monolingual Spanish speakers compared to English speaking participants administered the same tests in English. Additionally, preliminary research with acculturation and neuropsychological assessment had suggested that higher levels of acculturation would result in better neuropsychological test performance. However, these results should be interpreted with caution as there were limitations to this study which included a small sample size, a sample of higher education level participants, and exposure to the English language and the U.S. educational system. Future studies should focus on development of normative data for the older adult population, individuals who have sustained a traumatic brain injury and monolingual Spanish speakers so that information can be made available for this underserved population.

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