Performance of Hispanics and Non-Hispanic Whites on the NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery: the roles of ethnicity and language backgrounds

Ilse Flores, Kaitlin B. Casaletto, Maria J. Marquine, Anya Umlauf, David J. Moore, Dan M Mungas, Richard C. Gershon, Jennifer L. Beaumont, Robert K. Heaton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: This study examined the influence of Hispanic ethnicity and language/cultural background on performance on the NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery (NIHTB-CB). Method: Participants included healthy, primarily English-speaking Hispanic (n = 93; Hispanic-English), primarily Spanish-speaking Hispanic (n = 93; Hispanic-Spanish), and English speaking Non-Hispanic white (n = 93; NH white) adults matched on age, sex, and education levels. All participants were in the NIH Toolbox national norming project and completed the Fluid and Crystallized components of the NIHTB-CB. T-scores (demographically-unadjusted) were developed based on the current sample and were used in analyses. Results: Spanish-speaking Hispanics performed worse than English-speaking Hispanics and NH whites on demographically unadjusted NIHTB-CB Fluid Composite scores (ps <.01). Results on individual measures comprising the Fluid Composite showed significant group differences on tests of executive inhibitory control (p =.001), processing speed (p =.003), and working memory (p <.001), but not on tests of cognitive flexibility or episodic memory. Test performances were associated with language/cultural backgrounds in the Hispanic-Spanish group: better vocabularies and reading were predicted by being born outside the U.S., having Spanish as a first language, attending school outside the U.S., and speaking more Spanish at home. However, many of these same background factors were associated with worse Fluid Composites within the Hispanic-Spanish group. Conclusions: On tests of Fluid cognition, the Hispanic-Spanish group performed the poorest of all groups. Socio-demographic and linguistic factors were associated with those differences. These findings highlight the importance of considering language/cultural backgrounds when interpreting neuropsychological test performances. Importantly, after applying previously published NIHTB-CB norms with demographic corrections, these language/ethnic group differences are eliminated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)783-797
Number of pages15
JournalClinical Neuropsychologist
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 19 2017

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Hispanic Americans
Cognition
Language
Demography
Ethnic Groups
Battery
Sex Education
Episodic Memory
Vocabulary
Neuropsychological Tests
Executive Function
Linguistics
Short-Term Memory
Cultural Background
Reading
Healthy Volunteers
Demographics
Group Differences
Performance Test

Keywords

  • Acculturation
  • cognition
  • cultural aspects
  • language
  • toolbox

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Performance of Hispanics and Non-Hispanic Whites on the NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery : the roles of ethnicity and language backgrounds. / Flores, Ilse; Casaletto, Kaitlin B.; Marquine, Maria J.; Umlauf, Anya; Moore, David J.; Mungas, Dan M; Gershon, Richard C.; Beaumont, Jennifer L.; Heaton, Robert K.

In: Clinical Neuropsychologist, Vol. 31, No. 4, 19.05.2017, p. 783-797.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Flores, Ilse ; Casaletto, Kaitlin B. ; Marquine, Maria J. ; Umlauf, Anya ; Moore, David J. ; Mungas, Dan M ; Gershon, Richard C. ; Beaumont, Jennifer L. ; Heaton, Robert K. / Performance of Hispanics and Non-Hispanic Whites on the NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery : the roles of ethnicity and language backgrounds. In: Clinical Neuropsychologist. 2017 ; Vol. 31, No. 4. pp. 783-797.
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AU - Marquine, Maria J.

AU - Umlauf, Anya

AU - Moore, David J.

AU - Mungas, Dan M

AU - Gershon, Richard C.

AU - Beaumont, Jennifer L.

AU - Heaton, Robert K.

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