Title

Validation of a Spanish language test of verbal learning and memory: The Perri Test de Aprendizaje Verbal y de Memoria

Date of Completion

January 1999

Keywords

Psychology, Clinical|Psychology, Psychometrics

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

Neuropsychological assessments are an important component in the clinical detection of neurological conditions and an integral part in the neurorehabilitative process. However, very few instruments have been sufficiently standardized and normed for use with Spanish-speaking patients. The purpose of the current study was four-fold. First, the construct validity of the Perri Test de Aprendizaje Verbal y de Memoria (PerriTAVM) was examined with a predominantly Puerto Rican sample of 78 neurologically normal subjects. Subjects were administered the Perri TAVM along with the Spanish Stroop Test (SST) and Spanish Verbal Fluency Test (SVFT) to examine criterion-related validity. A principal component analysis of the Perri TAVM data produced a five-factor solution in which the variables grouped into linearly independent domains that were consistent with verbal learning and memory constructs. The factors reflected General Verbal Learning, Proactive Interference, Response Discrimination, Serial Positioning, and Learning Strategy. Correlational analyses between the Perri TAVM variables and SST and SVFT variables produced support for the criterion-related validity of the instrument. Second, the degree of similarity in word-list learning test performance among two Spanish speaking samples and an English speaking sample was examined. The findings gave support to the notion that variables from word list learning tests specific to the Perri TAVM allow classification of subjects' performance across and within cultures on similar dimensions of cognitive ability. The findings also supported generalizing norms for word-list learning tests between Mexican and Puerto Rican Spanish-speaking samples using the Perri TAVM, Third, ANCOVAs were administered to assess age, education, and gender differences on Perri TAVM performance. Findings indicated that diminished verbal learning performance diminished with increased age and lower levels of education. Women displayed higher levels of verbal learning than men. Fourth, Perri et al. (1995) only included 14 of the possible 25 variables in their study of the Perri TAVM. In hopes of contributing to further research, the current study provided means and standard deviations for all 25 Perri TAVM verbal learning and memory indices. Findings highlight the need for increased development of culturally appropriate neuropsychological instruments for Spanish-speakers and the need for increased cultural plurality in neuropsychological research. ^