The relationships among acculturation, executive functioning and English language proficiency in bilingual adults

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Moss, Lauren E.
Davis, Andrew S.
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Thesis (Ph. D.)
Department of Educational Psychology
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The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among measures of acculturation, as measured by the Stephenson Multigroup Acculturation Scale (SMAS); executive functioning, as measured by the Color-Word Interference Test and Proverb Test from the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS); and English language proficiency (ELP), as measured by the Oral Language Composite (OLC) from the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test, Third Edition (WIAT-III). Participants were 38 bilingual English language learner adults (female, n = 27) with a mean age of 27.32 years. Moderated multiple regression and dominance analyses revealed a significant model in which acculturation, executive functioning, and demographic variables (i.e., age and years lived in the United States) accounted for approximately 71.7% of the variance in OLC scores. Acculturation was not found to moderate the relationship between executive functioning and ELP. Multiple linear regression models predicting Proverb Test: Total Achievement (Free) and Color-Word Interference Test: Condition 4 (Inhibition/Switching) test scores from acculturation, demographic, and ELP variables indicated Oral Expression scores were strongly related to both Proverb Test and Color-Word Interference Test scores. The current study provides a preliminary analysis of the ways acculturation, executive functioning, and English language proficiency are related to one another in bilingual, highly bicultural, ELL adults. If practitioners can learn more about how these constructs are related in bilingual ELL individuals, they will be able to engage in more culturally-sensitive assessment and intervention practices when working with this population.