Cultural Diversity Issues in Neuropsychology: Considerations for Working with Multicultural and Multilingual Families

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1 Cultural Diversity Issues in Neuropsychology: Considerations for Working with Multicultural and Multilingual Families Veronica Bordes-Edgar, PhD Pediatric Neuropsychologist Children s Neuroscience Institute Phoenix Children s Hospital

2 Objectives To work toward obtaining competence in cross-cultural practice Discuss issues surrounding multilingual/multicultural evaluations Learn strategies for addressing multicultural/multilingual issues in assessment Learn ways to meaningfully interpret results from multicultural/multilingual assessments

3 Why is this important? Changing population Minorities are 1/3 of population in 2008 Will be majority in 2042 But will be earlier in children: 2023 Need for further study highlighted by the National Academies Institute of Medicine (2003) Evaluate child within their context

4

5 Multicultural Guidelines for Practice Guideline 5: Psychologists are encouraged to apply culturally appropriate skills in clinical and other applied psychological practices. (APA, 1990,1992; Arredondo, 1999; Arredondo et al., 1996; Dana,1998; Grieger & Ponterotto, 1995; Lo pez, 1989; Paniagua,1994, 1998; Ponterotto, Casas, Suzuki, & Alexander, 1995; Samuda, 1998).

6 multiculturally sensitive practitioners are encouraged to be aware of: the limitations of assessment practices, from intakes to the use of standardized assessment instruments know and consider the validity of a given instrument interpreting resulting data appropriately cultural/linguistic characteristics of the patient test s reference population issues related to test bias, test fairness, and cultural equivalence

7 Practitioner Cultural Competence Awareness of your own cultural heritage Awareness of cross cultural biases. Working from an ecological and family centered vs. individualistic approach. Continuing education to understand the interface of health and mental health beliefs and practices from multiple perspectives.

8 Arizona 14% Foreign born 4% Multigenerational households 31% Hispanic/Latino 4.6% African American/Black 2.5% Asian 27.7% Speak a language other than English at home U.S. Census 2009 American Community Survey

9 Arizona Children 5-17 years old Total 1,215,277 Percent Only English 842, % Speak Spanish 316,407 26% Speak other Indo- European languages Speak Asian and Pacific Island languages 13,864 15, % 1.3% Speak other languages 26, %

10 Concerns with testing Problems with Measures Problems with Test Administration

11 Problems with Measures Test bias and suitability Norms Representative of Population Educational background Immigration Sensitivity to cultural differences Follow standards of translation and adaptation

12 Problems with Test Administration Cultural Norms and Expectations Belief about psychologists or physicians Eye contact Gender roles and expectations Perception and belief regarding time Acculturation and cultural identity Language Preference/Proficiency Translation Qualifications of Individuals

13 Objectives To work toward obtaining competence in cross-cultural practice Discuss issues surrounding multilingual/multicultural evaluations Learn strategies for addressing multicultural/multilingual issues in assessment Learn ways to meaningfully interpret results from multicultural/multilingual assessments

14 Rapport Building Child s language preference Child s name preference Connect via cultural small talk (plática) Mirror language (Spanish speakers) Search for bicultural interests (e.g., novelas, TV programs, sports) Avoid idioms

15 Steps for Evaluation 1. Determine the best language for patient Proficiency and competencies you are trying to evaluate (academic level vs. emotional functioning) Conceptual Scoring to assess knowledge of concepts Document your choices and reasons why

16 Assessing Language Preference/Dominance Ask parent and child separately what language the child prefers What are languages spoken at home? What does patient speak with siblings, friends, parents, other relatives? If parents asks question in home language, what language does patient respond?

17 Assessing Language Preference/Dominance Cont. What language do they watch TV? What language do they listen to music? How well do they speak the home language? How is their vocabulary and grammar usage? Do they read/write home language and how well?

18 BICS/CALP BICS - Basic Interpersonal Communicative Skills CALP - Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency Immigrant children often acquire peerappropriate conversation within 2 years, but take 5-10 years to catch up academically In mainstream classes minimal support for academic language development assumed you have it at the expected level Cummins, J. (1999)

19 Language Learning 3 types of bilinguals simultaneous, sequential/successive, circumstantial Simultaneous Acquisition Does not differ from single language development, but typically 4-5 months behind in early years until reach school Sequential/Successive Acquisition Children with formal schooling in native language and then English immersion took 5-7 years to gain proficiency Children with no formal schooling in native language take 7-10 years to gain proficiency

20 Language Learning Cont. The literature on bilingual education for children with language impairments suggests that the individual s proficiency in their first language will significantly determine the extent to which they can become proficient in the second language Conclusions: Best: Strong foundation in one language Speaking native language at home will not destroy child s language development or second language acquisition Normal process: Language is lost if not used (French & Llorente, 2008, Principles of Neuropsychological Assessment with Hispanics)

21 Assessment Problems - Language Lack of English proficiency affects learning or leads to misdiagnosis (LD vs. Language Learning) Assess opportunity to learn English Research on testing bilingual populations has shown a discrepancy on: 1. verbal and nonverbal cognitive abilities, 2. achievement and nonverbal IQ 3. material learned in an English-only classroom and fluid intelligence. (Figueroa, 2005; Valdes & Figueroa, 1994)

22 Steps for Evaluation 2. Assess need for interpreters and translators Preferable to have someone who speaks the same language and from the same culture. Ensure training in cross-cultural and cross-language work

23 Use of Interpreters Use professionals Ascertain limits of confidentiality Identify them by name in the report along with their qualifications Discuss quality of interaction with the patient via the interpreter Identify sources of error Pros and Cons

24 Translation Issues Caution with informal translations level of difficulty, meaning vs. direct translation Ideally use professionals Back translation Compare original English to back translation International Test Commission s Test Adaptation Guidelines

25 Steps for Evaluation 3. Evaluate Acculturation Formally through measures Informally through interview Assess first and second generation immigrants, and other racial minorities

26 Informal Assessment of Acculturation Name changes Language preference across settings Contacts/visits with native country Network, rituals, celebrations Surface cues of intent to acculturate Degree of support with traditional family values Interpersonal and lifestyle balance

27 Steps for Evaluation 4. Assess availability of tests and norms Adapted and translated according to guidelines by International Test Commission 5. Take language and culture into account when making recommendations 6. Provide feedback accessible to patients Interpreter Qualified translator to produce summary and handout

28 Other things to consider Assessment takes longer rapport, assess acculturation/language, conduct in two languages, integrate report, translate report, debrief interpreter Subsequently more expensive may result in issues of access

29 Objectives To work toward obtaining competence in cross-cultural practice Discuss issues surrounding multilingual/multicultural evaluations Learn strategies for addressing multicultural/multilingual issues in assessment Learn ways to meaningfully interpret results from multicultural/multilingual assessments

30 So what do our results mean?

31 What can we do? Think about why you want to give a specific test Why chose one over another? Exercise caution Do not over-interpret Look at scores with better stability such as indices versus individual subtests Use multiple tests of similar concepts Don t be afraid to refer or defer

32 What can we do? Look beyond the numbers you are a clinician Identify patterns and areas of strengths and weaknesses Look for convergent and divergent validity Are there discrepancies among tests What do parents and teachers say

33 Questions?

34 References APA. (2003). Guidelines on multicultural education, training, research, practice, and organizational change for psychologists. American Psychologist, 58, Byrd, D., Arentoft, A., Scheiner, D., Westerveld, M. & B., I. S. (2008). State of multicultural neuropsychological assessment in children: Current research issues. Neuropsychology Review, 18, Cummins, J. (1999). BICS and CALP: Clarifying the distinction (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED438551) Figueroa, R.A. (2005). Dificultades o desabilidades de aprendizaje? Learning Disability Quarterly, 28, Judd, T., Capetillo, D., Carrión-Baralt, J., Mármol, L. M., San Miguel- Montes, L., Navarrete, M. G., et al. (2009). Professional considerations for improving the neuropsychological evaluation of Hispanics: A National Academy of Neuropsychology Education Paper. Llorente, A. M. (Ed.). (2008). Principles of neuropsychological assessment with Hispanics: Theoretical foundations and clinical practice. New York: Springer.

35 Suzuki, L. A., Ponterotto, J. G., & Meller, P. J. (Eds.). (2001). Handbook of multicultural assessment: Clinical, psychological, and educational applications (2 nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Valdes, G. & Figueroa, R. A. (1994). Bilingualism and testing: A special case of bias. Norwood, New Jersey: Ablex Publishing. Wilkinson, C. Y., Ortiz, A. A., Robertson, P. M., & Kushner, M. I. (2006). English language learners with reading-related LD: Linking data from multiple sources to make eligibility determinations. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 39, Additional Resource - Includes books and chapters pertaining to neuropsychological assessment cross-culturally, with minorities, and with non-english speaking individuals

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