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The Neuropsychological Norms for the U.S.-Mexico Border Region in Spanish (NP-NUMBRS) Project: Overview and considerations for life span research and evidence-based practice



This paper summarizes the findings of the Neuropsychological Norms for the U.S.-Mexico Border Region in Spanish (NP-NUMBRS) Project and offers a roadmap for future research.


The NP-NUMBRS project represents the largest and most comprehensive co-normed neuropsychological battery to date for native Spanish-speaking healthy adults from the U.S. (California/Arizona)-Mexico borderland region (N = 254; ages 19-60 years). These norms provide demographic adjustments for tests across numerous domains (i.e., verbal fluency, processing speed, attention/working memory, executive function, episodic memory [learning and delayed recall], visuospatial, and fine motor skills).


This project: 1) shows that the NP-NUMBRS norms consistently outperformed previously published norms for English-speaking non-Hispanic (White and African-American) adults in identifying impairment; 2) explores the role of Spanish-English bilingualism in test performance; and 3) provides support for the diagnostic validity of these norms in detecting HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment. Study limitations include the limited assessment of sociocultural variables and generalizability (e.g., other Latina/o populations, age limit [19 - 60 years]). Future research is needed to: 1) investigate these norms with U.S.-dwelling Spanish-speakers of non-Mexican heritage and other clinical subpopulations; 2) expand coverage of cognitive domains (e.g. language, visuospatial); 3) develop large normative datasets for children and older Latina/o populations; 4) examine how sociocultural factors impact performance (e.g., bilingualism, acculturation); 5) investigate these norms' diagnostic and ecological validity; and 6) develop norms for neurocognitive change across time. It is hoped that the NP-NUMBRS norms will aid researchers and clinicians working with U.S.-dwelling Spanish-speakers from the U.S.-Mexico borderland to conduct research and evidence-based neuropsychological evaluations in a more culturally responsive and ethical manner.

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