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Cultural effects on neurodevelopmental testing in children from six European countries: an analysis of NUTRIMENTHE Global Database

  • Miguel Pérez-García (a1), Juan de Dios Luna (a2), Francisco J. Torres-Espínola (a3), Cristina Martínez-Zaldívar (a3), Tania Anjos (a3), Jolien Steenweg-de Graaff (a4), Martina Weber (a5), Veit Grote (a5), Dariusz Gruszfeld (a6), Elvira Verduci (a7), Pascale Poncelet (a8), Joaquín Escribano (a9), Henning Tiemeier (a4), Berthold Koletzko (a5) and Cristina Campoy (a3) (a10)...


Cultural background is an important variable influencing neuropsychological performance. Multinational projects usually involve gathering data from participants from different countries and/or different cultures. Little is known about the influence of culture on neuropsychological testing results in children and especially in European children. The objectives of this study were to compare neuropsychological performance of children from six European countries (Belgium, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland and Spain) using a comprehensive neuropsychological battery and to apply a statistical procedure to reduce the influence of country/cultural differences in neuropsychological performance. As expected, the results demonstrated differences in neuropsychological performance among children of the six countries involved. Cultural differences remained after adjusting for other confounders related to neuropsychological execution, such as sex, type of delivery, maternal age, gestational age and maternal educational level. Differences between countries disappeared and influence of culture was considerably reduced when standardised scores by country and sex were used. These results highlight the need for developing specific procedures to compare neuropsychological performance among children from different cultures to be used in multicentre studies.


Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: Professor C. Campoy, email


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Disclaimer: This paper was published as part of a supplement to the British Journal of Nutrition, publication of which was supported partially by UNILEVER, NUTRIMENTHE EU Project and an unrestricted educational grant from the University of Granada. The papers included in this supplement were invited by the Guest Editor and have undergone the standard journal formal review process. They may be cited.



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