Assessment of executive function in bilingual adults with history of mild traumatic brain injury

Ileana Ratiu, Tamiko Azuma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background and objective:Adults with a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI) often show deficits in executive function (EF), including the ability to inhibit, switch, and attend to task relevant information. Although performances differences between bilinguals and monolinguals have been observed in EF tasks, there is little research on the effect of TBI on EF in bilinguals. In this study, an ecologically valid standardized measure and experimental computerized tasks of EF were administered to Spanish-English bilingual adults with and without history of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI).Method:Twenty-two bilinguals with a history of mTBI [mean age=20.1 years, SD=3.7; education=13.4 years, SD=0.7] and 20 control bilinguals [mean age=20.8 years, SD=3.6; education=13.7 years, SD=1.1], matched for age and education, completed language proficiency questionnaires, the Functional Assessment of Verbal Reasoning and Executive Strategies (FAVRES), English and Spanish language assessments, and a Flanker task (a test of inhibition).Results:Performance was analyzed using analyses of covariance. The results revealed that bilinguals with a history of mTBI performed worse on both the standardized assessment (FAVRES) and inhibition task. Interestingly, self-reported EF deficits were consistent with performance on these measures.Conclusion:The findings of this study provide useful information regarding assessment of EF deficits in bilinguals with a history mTBI. Computerized experimental tasks of EF may also prove useful in the assessment of EF in individuals with mTBI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBrain Impairment
StateAccepted/In press - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Traumatic brain injury
  • bilingualism
  • executive function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing


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