Neuropsychological tests play a significant role in detecting brain dysfunction and treatment planning for patients. However, discrepancies in neurocognitive tests among ethnic minorities continue to perplex neuropsychologists and place ethnic minorities at a greater risk for misdiagnoses (Byrd et al., 2006). The aim of this study was to ascertain significant acculturation predictors influencing neuropsychological performance in ethnic minorities, particularly verbally mediated tasks which were known to be more susceptible to discrepancies in acculturation level were examined (Razani et al., 2007). Healthy participants from Hispanic (n = 52), Asian (n = 52), and Middle-Eastern (ME; n = 68) descents between the ages of 18 and 69 years were recruited. Participants were administered the acculturation scale (i.e., ARSMA) and seven neuropsychological tests (i.e., COWAT-FAS and Animals; BNT; Stroop A and B; and WASI Vocabulary and Similarities subtests). Results from reliability and exploratory factor analyses indicated that ARSMA was a reliable measure and revealed a three-factor solution (Factor 1 = Ethnic Identity, Factor 2 = Ethnic Preference, Factor 3 = Language/Heritage) as well as a higher-order factor (Acculturation). Neuropsychological measures also produced a two-factor solution (Factor 1 = Verbal Abilities, Factor 2 = Verbal Processing Speed) and a higher-order factor (Language), which were determined to be cross-culturally equivalent. When acculturation factors were regressed onto neuropsychological constructs, results indicated that Language/Heritage was the best predictor for Verbal Abilities (􀈕 = .601, p < .001) and Language (􀈕 = .599, p < .001); and Ethnic Preference was the best predictor for Verbal Processing Speed (􀈕 = -.194, p < .05). Also, Acculturation was a significant predictor for Verbal Abilities (􀈕 = .528, p < .001), Verbal Processing Speed (􀈕 =-.138, p < .05), and Language (􀈕 = .371, p < .001) The findings of this study are consistent with previous research demonstrating differences between Anglo-Americans and other cultural groups in neuropsychological performance (Harris et al., 2003; Manly et al., 2002; Razani et al., 2007). It is clear that similar to other demographic factors, acculturation level also needs to be taken into account when interpreting neuropsychological assessment data, to reduce misdiagnosing ethnic minorities in clinical settings.

LLU Discipline

Clinical Psychology




School of Behavioral Health

First Advisor

Ropacki, Susan

Second Advisor

Betancourt, Hector

Third Advisor

Boyd, Kendal

Fourth Advisor

Razani, Jill

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded

January 2013

Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Clinical neuropsychology; Acculturation; Neuropsychology; Cross-Cultural Comparison; Ethnic Groups - psychology;

Subject - Local

Psychometrically valid relationships; Acculturation; Neuropsychology; Brain dysfunction; Ethnic minorities; Misdiagnosis



Page Count

68 p.

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses & Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives