Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Psychology


Clinical Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (viii, 117 pages) : color illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Robert J McCaffrey

Committee Members

Julie K Lynch, Drew Anderson


Boston Naming Test, culture, DIF, minority, neuropsychology, noose, Cross-cultural studies, Education, Ethnicity, Emotions

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology


The rapidly growing ethnic minority population and increasing focus on cultural awareness and sensitivity within psychology have led to calls for expanded research on minority and cross-cultural issues. Despite this recognized need, ethnic minority and cross-cultural research within neuropsychology continues to lag behind similar research in other areas of psychology, and those studies published have generally utilized older adult samples. In addition, although research in this area has predominantly focused on performance differences between different ethnocultural groups, recent discussion on various neuropsychology listserves has focused on the emotional salience of the noose item on the Boston Naming Test (BNT). Therefore, the present study was conducted to examine potential performance differences on the BNT between cognitively intact Black and White young adults, and to investigate associations between ethnocultural background, education, BNT performance, and emotional response to BNT stimuli. Fifty-eight college students were recruited, and fifty were included in all analyses. Participants were administered the National Adult Reading Test - Revised (NART-R) as a measure of education quality, all BNT items, and an experimental task in which respondents indicated the nature and strength of their emotional response to each BNT stimulus. Statistically significant performance differences were not found between Black and White participants on the BNT. In addition, emotional responses to the noose item did not differ significantly between Black and White participants. However, exploratory analyses revealed potential differential item functioning (DIF) between Black and White participants on this item, such that performance on this item was more strongly associated with overall BNT performance among Whites than among Blacks. NART-R score was a significant predictor of BNT performance across both groups, although no significant interaction between NART-R and ethnocultural group was found. Overall, these results suggest BNT performance differences between Blacks and Whites may be smaller among young adults as compared with older adults. In addition, education appears to be a better predictor than ethnocultural group of overall BNT performance among young adults. However, due to possible DIF and the historical salience of the object, the noose item may be inappropriate for use on the BNT with Black examinees.