Linkages Between Biculturalism and Executive Functioning Among Immigrant Latinx-American Youth

Jenny A Arevalo, Fordham University


Due to globalized movement, the U.S. has a growing population of Latinx adolescents who are exposed to two cultures, the mainstream and the heritage culture, and are in a critical period of identity and cognitive development. The process of continuously negotiating dual cultures, and attaining bilingualism, may have ramifications for youth’s development of executive functioning (EF) skills. Limited research has examined the dynamic of biculturalism, and EF skills while considering bilingualism, particularly among Latinx adolescent youth within the U.S. The present study investigated how biculturalism contributors such as cultural identification and bicultural identity integration related to three EF skills: inhibition, shift, and working memory based on youth-report and parent-report with 81 Latinx adolescents ages 13-15. Hierarchical regressions analyses results did not support cultural identification nor bicultural identity integration as predictors of EF inhibition, shift, or working memory skill. However, bilingualism was a consistent predictor across the three skills for youth-rated EF outcomes. This finding has implications for further understanding the linkages between bilingualism, a carrier of culture, and supporting Latinx adolescents in their academic achievement and psycho-social well-being. GPA was also a consistent predictor across the three parent-rated EF outcome skills, having implications for understanding parental conceptualizations of youth’s achievement bridging GPA with EF skill.

Subject Area

Latin American Studies|Cognitive psychology|Bilingual education

Recommended Citation

Arevalo, Jenny A, "Linkages Between Biculturalism and Executive Functioning Among Immigrant Latinx-American Youth" (2023). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI29398367.