Influence of language background on tests of cognitive abilities: Australian data

Carstairs, Jane R. and Myors, Brett and Shores, E. Arthur and Fogarty, Gerard (2006) Influence of language background on tests of cognitive abilities: Australian data. Australian Psychologist, 41 (1). pp. 48-54. ISSN 0005-0067

Abstract

This study examines the effect of language background on the performance of healthy participants on a battery of cognitive measures. The study was conducted as part of a larger normative study: the Macquarie University Neuropsychological Normative Study (MUNNS). A comparison was made between the test performance of three language background groups: participants from a non-English-speaking background whose first language was other than English (NESB-OE, N = 42); participants from a non-English-speaking background whose first language was English (NESB-E, N = 34); and participants from an English-speaking background (ESB, N = 40). A number of tests used in clinical neuropsychological assessment were found to be sensitive to the background of the participant, and trends in the data suggest that two factors are operating independently. It is proposed that one factor is language or proficiency in English that impacts on verbal subtests and the other is a sociocultural factor that impacts on performance or nonverbal subtests. These findings question current practices when assessing people from non-English-speaking backgrounds.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Author's version not held.
Depositing User: Mrs Melissa Jarick
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2010 05:49
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2013 02:55
Uncontrolled Keywords: psychiatry; clinical psychology; language background; ESL
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1702 Cognitive Sciences > 170205 Neurocognitive Patterns and Neural Networks
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2003 Language Studies > 200303 English as a Second Language
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939902 Education and Training Theory and Methodology
Identification Number or DOI: doi: 10.1080/00050060500391878
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/7716

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