The effects of acculturation, age and years in the United States on RBANS performance in Russian bilinguals
Davis, Andrew S.
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between acculturation, as measured by the Language, Identity, and Behavior Acculturation Scale (LIB); age, the number of years lived in the United States, and performance on the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status Normative Update (RBANS) in a sample of Russian bilingual adults. There is a dearth of research conducted on neuropsychological assessment measures normed in America for this population. The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, Fourth Edition (PPVT-4) was also administered as a measure of English language proficiency. The experimental group was comprised of 48 Russian bilingual adults (15 male, 33 female) with a mean age of 31.17 years (SD = 16.77). The control group was comprised of 20 English-speaking monolingual adults (4 male, 16 female) with a mean age of 20.45 years (SD = 3.57). A one-way MANOVA yielded significant group differences in RBANS performance between the monolingual and Russian bilingual groups with regard to the Digit Span, Coding, Story Memory, List Learning, and Story Recall subtests. A mediated path model was employed to assess the relationship between RBANS scores and acculturation levels in the Russian bilingual group, both directly, and as a mediator of the relationship between RBANS scores, age, and the number of years lived in the U.S. American acculturation levels were found to significantly mediate the relationship between the number of years in the U.S. and RBANS Immediate Memory, Language, and Attention Indices. American acculturation was also found to significantly mediate the relationship between participant age and RBANS Immediate Memory, Language, and Attention Indices. Participant age was negatively related to American acculturation, and the number of years in the U.S. was found to positively relate to American acculturation levels. The current study provides a preliminary analysis of the ways acculturation, age, and years in the U.S. affect neuropsychological test performance on the RBANS in this group of Russian bilinguals. If practitioners can learn more about how these constructs are related and how they affect performance on neuropsychological measures, they may provide more culturallysensitive assessment and diagnostic considerations when working with this particular population.