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Testing Measurement Equivalence of Neurocognitive Assessments Across Language in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos


Goodman, Zachary T.; Llabre, Maria M.; González, Hector M.; Lamar, Melissa; Gallo, Linda C.; Tarraf, Wassim; Perreira, Krista M.; López-Cevallos, Daniel F.; Vásquez, Priscilla M.; & Medina, Luis D., et al. (2021). Testing Measurement Equivalence of Neurocognitive Assessments Across Language in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos. Neuropsychology, 35(4), 423-433.


OBJECTIVE: Neuropsychological instruments are often developed in English and translated to other languages to facilitate the clinical evaluation of diverse populations or to utilize in research environments. However, the psychometric equivalence of these assessments across language must be demonstrated before populations can validly be compared.
METHOD: To test this equivalence, we applied measurement invariance procedures to a subsample (N = 1,708) of the Hispanic Community Health Survey/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) across English and Spanish versions of a neurocognitive battery. Using cardinality matching, 854 English-speaking and 854 Spanish-speaking subsamples were matched on age, education, sex, immigration status (U.S. born, including territories, or foreign-born), and Hispanic/Latino heritage background. Neurocognitive measures included the Six-Item Screener (SIS), Brief-Spanish English Verbal Learning Test (B-SEVLT), Word Fluency (WF), and Digit Symbol Substitution (DSS). Confirmatory factor analysis was utilized to test item-level invariance of the SIS, B-SEVLT, and WF, as well as factor-level invariance of a higher-order neurocognitive functioning latent variable.
RESULTS: One item of both the SIS and WF were more difficult in Spanish than English, as was the DSS test. After accounting for partial invariance, Spanish-speakers performed worse on each of the subtests and the second-order neurocognitive functioning latent variable.
CONCLUSIONS: We found some evidence of bias at both item and factor levels, contributing to the poorer neurocognitive performance of Spanish test-takers. While these results explain the underperformance of Spanish-speakers to some extent, more work is needed to determine whether such bias is reflective of true cognitive differences or additional variables unaccounted for in this study. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).


Reference Type

Journal Article

Article Type


Year Published


Journal Title



Goodman, Zachary T.
Llabre, Maria M.
González, Hector M.
Lamar, Melissa
Gallo, Linda C.
Tarraf, Wassim
Perreira, Krista M.
López-Cevallos, Daniel F.
Vásquez, Priscilla M.
Medina, Luis D.
Perera, Marisa J.
Zeng, Donglin
Bainter, Sierra A.

Data Set/Study

Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL)


United States of America