Objective: To evaluate whether cultural differences on neuropsychological performance exist between healthy Spaniards and Germans, using a comprehensive battery of tests, and if so, to identify the effects of modulating cultural variables -occupational social class, language, educational quality, and competitiveness- on these neuropsychological differences. Method: Data were obtained from a sample of 20 Germans (8 male, 12 female; 20–28 years) and 20 Spaniards (7 male, 13 female; 19–28 years), students of University of Granada, matched by gender, age, and years of education. Inclusion criteria included proficient language skills (Spanish) to understand the test instructions and no past history of mental/neurological diseases and/or consumption of substances. A comprehensive neuropsychological test battery was administered to assess perception (Hooper Visual Organization Test), motor function (Color Trail Making Test A), attention (d2), memory (Rey Complex Test), updating (Semantic Verbal Fluency, Backward Digit Span), flexibility (CTMT B), and non-verbal intelligence (Beta III). Results: T-tests revealed that Spaniards significantly outperformed Germans in measures with verbal contents, whereas Germans showed a significantly superior performance in timed tests (p < 0.05, C.I. 95%). Blockwise regressions indicated that the four culture-dependent variables (occupational social class, language, educational quality, and competitiveness) significantly predicted participants' performance in the neuropsychological tests. Conclusion: These results provide an initial glimpse of how two groups with different linguistic but somewhat similar (both Europeans) background differ. They provide support for the idea that the sensitivity of neuropsychological tools should be improved to avoid neuropsychologistś erroneous diagnosis when linguistic and/or cultural variables are of importance.
Cultural Variables Influence on Neuropsychological Assessment: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Healthy Spaniards and Germans
I Ibanez-Casas, C Ellinghaus, N Hidalgo Ruzzante, J Rogner, M Perez-García, A Puente; Diversity-2
Cultural Variables Influence on Neuropsychological Assessment: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Healthy Spaniards and Germans. Arch Clin Neuropsychol 2015; 30 (6): 475. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acv046.02
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