Boston Naming Test performance of older New Zealand adults

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Abstract:

Background: The Boston Naming Test (BNT) is the most commonly used confrontation-naming test in Anglophone countries. In a study of young New Zealand adults (Barker-Collo, 2001) the average participant performed well below the mean of the most closely matched North American normative sample, and potentially culturally biased items were identified. Aims: The first aim of this study was to examine overall BNT performance in a sample of healthy older New Zealand adults when compared to available normative data. The second aim was to determine potential for cultural bias of individual items: the extent and pattern of errors produced by this sample is compared to that of previously published data from younger New Zealand adults, and from other countries (e.g., Australia). Methods & Procedures: The 60-item BNT was administered to 20 healthy older New Zealand born adults (mean  =  63.4; range  =  55-76 years). Total scores of the sample are compared to published age-referenced normative data, while the pattern of errors obtained is compared to a published data for New Zealand young adults and Australian and Canadian samples. Outcomes & Results: The results indicate that performance of the present sample fell within or above one standard deviation from the normative mean. The sample produced most of its errors on three BNT items (pretzel, beaver, and protractor). Only 65% and 70% of the present sample made correct responses on the first two items, compared to 27.6% and 31% of young New Zealanders. That both samples performed worst on these two items suggests they may be culturally biased. Conclusions: It is suggested that the better overall performance of the present sample may have been due to sample characteristics (e.g., high level of education). Items likely to reflect cultural bias (i.e., beaver, pretzel) are identified. Items previously found to impact performance of young New Zealanders that did not negatively impact the present sample (e.g., globe), may reflect cohort effects, or the highly educated nature of the sample.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02687030600821600

Affiliations: The University of Auckland, New Zealand

Publication date: December 1, 2007

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