A new verbal learning and memory test for English- and Spanish-speaking older people

Hector M. González, D. A.N. Mungas, Bruce R. Reed, Sarah Marshall, Mary N. Haan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Word-list verbal learning and memory tests with appropriate normative data can be highly sensitive to cognitive decline, but there are significant limitations of such tests available for use with older Hispanic and non-Hispanic people living in the US. The purpose of this study was to (1) create a new word-list learning and memory test in both English and Spanish and, (2) validate it with respect to sensitivity to cognitive impairment, and (3) develop statistical corrections for the effects of significant demographic variables, including ethnicity, language of administration, age, education, and gender. A community dwelling sample of 801 English- and Spanish-speaking older people was employed. Recall on learning trials and the delayed recall trial of the word-list learning test were strongly related to the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), moderately related to age, and weakly related to gender and education. The relationship of word-list variables and the MMSE did not significantly differ across ethnicity/language groups. Regression coefficients for demographic variables were used in a statistical correction formula to adjust raw word-list scores, and then to develop specific percentile cut-off values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-555
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Hispanic
  • Memory
  • Verbal learning


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