Do neuropsychological tests have the same meaning in Spanish speakers as they do in English speakers?

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aging, cognition, cross-cultural, neuropsychology, measurement invariance, structural equation modeling


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The purpose of this study was to examine whether neuropsychological tests translated into Spanish measure the same cognitive constructs as the original English versions. Method: Older adult participants (N = 2,664), who did not exhibit dementia from the Washington Heights Inwood Columbia Aging Project (WHICAP), a community-based cohort from northern Manhattan, were evaluated with a comprehensive neuropsychological battery. The study cohort includes both English (n = 1,800) and Spanish speakers (n = 864) evaluated in their language of preference. Invariance analyses were conducted across language groups on a structural equation model comprising four neuropsychological factors (memory, language, visual-spatial ability, and processing speed). Results: The results of the analyses indicated that the four-factor model exhibited partial measurement invariance, demonstrated by invariant factor structure and factor loadings but nonequivalent observed score intercepts. Conclusion: The finding of invariant factor structure and factor loadings provides empirical evidence to support the implicit assumption that scores on neuropsychological tests are measuring equivalent psychological traits across these two language groups. At the structural level, the model exhibited invariant factor variances and covariances.

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