The relationship of language and performance on the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS)
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between language ability and neuropsychological performance on the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS). Language ability was measured as naming ability and verbal fluency via the Boston Naming Test, Second Edition (BNT-2) and Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) Verbal Fluency Condition 1: Letter Fluency and Condition 2: Category Fluency. Participants included 64 college students (47 females, 16 males, 1 transgender female) with ages ranging from 18 to 23 years involved in a larger study. The first canonical correlation yielded a significant, moderate relationship between the measures of language and RBANS subtests. The second yielded a significant, moderate relationship between the measures of language and RBANS indices. A significant, moderate correlation was found between Letter Fluency and Category Fluency, with no significant relationships with the BNT-2. The current study provides evidence of the impact language ability may have on a brief and widely used measure of neuropsychological performance. Clinicians may be cautious when administering or interpreting obtained results of several RBANS indices and subtests, as deficits in language ability may negatively impact performance. The current study found evidence that performance on several RBANS indices may be impacted by language ability, while fewer RBANS subtests were impacted. Additionally, RBANS performance may be more impacted by pure language ability as compared to executive functioning. These results include important considerations for clinicians administering neuropsychological assessments with patients who may have atypical language ability.