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The 32-Item Multilingual Naming Test: Cultural and Linguistic Biases in Monolingual Chinese-Speaking Older Adults

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 June 2021

Clara Li*
Affiliation:
Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA
Xiaoyi Zeng
Affiliation:
Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA
Judith Neugroschl
Affiliation:
Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA
Amy Aloysi
Affiliation:
Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA
Carolyn W. Zhu
Affiliation:
Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA James J. Peters VA Medical Center, Bronx, NY, USA Mount Sinai Pepper Older Americans Independence Center, Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY, USA
Mengfei Xu
Affiliation:
Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA
Jeanne A. Teresi
Affiliation:
Mount Sinai Pepper Older Americans Independence Center, Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY, USA Research Division, The Hebrew Home at Riverdale, Riverdale, NY, USA Columbia University Stroud Center, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, USA
Katja Ocepek-Welikson
Affiliation:
Research Division, The Hebrew Home at Riverdale, Riverdale, NY, USA
Mildred Ramirez
Affiliation:
Mount Sinai Pepper Older Americans Independence Center, Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY, USA Research Division, The Hebrew Home at Riverdale, Riverdale, NY, USA
Andrew Joseph
Affiliation:
Department of Linguistics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
Dongming Cai
Affiliation:
Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA James J. Peters VA Medical Center, Bronx, NY, USA
Hillel Grossman
Affiliation:
Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA James J. Peters VA Medical Center, Bronx, NY, USA
Jane Martin
Affiliation:
Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA
Margaret Sewell
Affiliation:
Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA
Maria Loizos
Affiliation:
Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA
Mary Sano
Affiliation:
Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA James J. Peters VA Medical Center, Bronx, NY, USA
*
*Correspondence and reprint requests to: Clara Li, Ph.D., Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 1 Gustave L. Levy Place, Box 1230 New York, NY 10029, USA. E-mail: clara.li@mssm.edu

Abstract

Objectives:

This study describes the performance of the Multilingual Naming Test (MINT) by Chinese American older adults who are monolingual Chinese speakers. An attempt was also made to identify items that could introduce bias and warrant attention in future investigation.

Methods:

The MINT was administered to 67 monolingual Chinese older adults as part of the standard dementia evaluation at the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS), New York, USA. A diagnosis of normal cognition (n = 38), mild cognitive impairment (n = 12), and dementia (n = 17) was assigned to all participants at clinical consensus conferences using criterion sheets developed at the ADRC at ISMMS.

Results:

MINT scores were negatively correlated with age and positively correlated with education, showing sensitivity to demographic factors. One item, butterfly, showed no variations in responses across diagnostic groups. Inclusion of responses from different regions of China changed the answers from “incorrect” to “correct” on 20 items. The last five items, porthole, anvil, mortar, pestle, and axle, yielded a high nonresponse rate, with more than 70% of participants responding with “I don’t know.” Four items, funnel, witch, seesaw, and wig, were not ordered with respect to item difficulty in the Chinese language. Two items, gauge and witch, were identified as culturally biased for the monolingual group.

Conclusions:

Our study highlights the cultural and linguistic differences that might influence the test performance. Future studies are needed to revise the MINT using more universally recognized items of similar word frequency across different cultural and linguistic groups.

Type
Regular Research
Copyright
Copyright © INS. Published by Cambridge University Press, 2021

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