Executive control in older Welsh monolinguals and bilinguals
Mueller Gathercole, VC
Journal of Cognitive Psychology
Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
© 2016 Taylor & Francis. This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Taylor & Francis via the DOI in this record.
Reason for embargo
Evidence for a bilingual advantage in executive control has led to the suggestion that being bilingual might protect against late-life cognitive decline. We assessed the performance of socially homogeneous groups of older (≥ 60 years) bilingual Welsh/English (n = 50) and monolingual English (n = 49) speakers on a range of executive control tasks yielding 17 indices for comparison. Effect sizes (> .2) favoured monolinguals on 10 indices, with negligible differences observed on the remaining 7 indices. Univariate analyses indicated that monolinguals performed significantly better on two of 17 indices. Multivariate analysis indicated no significant overall differences between the two groups in performance on executive tasks. Older Welsh bilinguals do not show a bilingual advantage in executive control, and where differences are observed, these tend to favour monolinguals. A possible explanation may lie in the nature of the sociolinguistic context and its influence on cognitive processing in the bilingual group.
Published online: 6th April 2016