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Span J Psychol. 2012 Nov;15(3):942-51.

Comparison of neuropsychological performance between students from public and private Brazilian schools.

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  • 1Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Av. Ipiranga, 6681 - Prédio 11 - 9o andar, sala 932, CEP: 90619-900 Porto Alegre/RS, Brazil. fabiolacasarin@gmail.com

Abstract

Neuropsychological assessment reveals that certain cognitive changes that take place during the neural development process may be associated with biopsychosocial issues. A substantial body of research has focused on cognitive development in children and adults, but few such studies have been carried out on adolescents. Therefore, research into the processing of neuropsychological functions in adolescents, taking into account the role of major socio-cultural factors such as school type (public vs. private), is highly relevant. The present study sought to assess whether differences in neuropsychological development exist between adolescent students of public (government-funded) and private schools. A total of 373 grade-matched students between the ages of 12 and 18, 190 from public schools and 183 from private schools, took part in the study. All subjects had no self-reported neurologic or psychiatric conditions and sensory disorders. The NEUPSILIN Brazilian Brief Neuropsychological Assessment Battery was administered to this sample. Comparison of mean scores (one-way ANCOVA with socioeconomic score and age as covariates) showed that adolescents attending private schools generally outperformed their public-school peers in tasks involving sustained attention, memory (working and visual), dictated writing, and constructional and reflective abilities. We conclude that school type should be taken into account during standardization of neuropsychological assessment instruments for adolescent and, probably, child populations.

PMID:
23156904
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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