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Relative Rates of Invalidity for the Test of Memory Malingering and the Dot Counting Test Among Spanish-Speaking Patients Residing in the USA


Assessment of performance validity in neuropsychological testing is essential to ensuring the accuracy of an examinee’s cognitive functioning. Although there are many well-validated and reliable performance validity tests (PVTs) available for use with English-speaking populations, there is currently a dearth of literature supporting their use in Spanish-speaking populations living in the USA. This study examined relative rates of invalid performance on three common performance validity tests (i.e., the Dot Counting Test [DCT] and Test of Memory Malingering [TOMM] Trials 1 and 2) in a cross-sectional sample of 112 clinically referred Spanish-speaking patients. Additionally, exploratory analysis of classification accuracy was also conducted for subtests of the Batería Neuropsicológica en Español (BNE) using each PVT as a reference standard. Rates of invalid performance ranged from 23.3 to 31.1% across the three independent PVTs. Exploratory analysis of BNE subtests indicated that Reliable Digit Span Total and Reliable Spatial Span Total and Backward demonstrated acceptable classification accuracy, albeit not across each reference standard. Given the elevated rates of invalidity in this clinically referred Spanish-speaking sample, the results of this study highlight the potential drawbacks of using cut-scores derived from and validated in English-speaking populations, even among some of the most well-validated and robust PVTs (e.g., DCT, TOMM), to interpret PVT results in Spanish-speaking people residing in the USA.

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Correspondence to Tasha Rhoads.

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Rhoads, T., Leib, S.I., Resch, Z.J. et al. Relative Rates of Invalidity for the Test of Memory Malingering and the Dot Counting Test Among Spanish-Speaking Patients Residing in the USA. Psychol. Inj. and Law 14, 269–280 (2021).

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  • Performance validity
  • Neuropsychological assessment
  • Spanish speakers
  • Test of Memory Malingering
  • Dot Counting Test