The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of first language on one's performance on the Picture Memory Interference Test (PMIT). This casual-comparative study examined if Iranian American students whose 1st language is Farsi performed differently from 1st language English-speaking Iranian American and monolingual English-speaking Caucasian students, after controlling for age and gender. To conduct this investigation, 103 Iranian American students who endorsed Farsi as their 1st language and English as their 2nd language were compared to a matched group of 103 monolingual English-speaking Caucasian students. Forty-four Iranian American students who endorsed 1st and 2nd language as English were also compared to a matched group of 44 monolingual English-speaking Caucasian students. The results of the 2 ANOVA conducted indicated that 1st language does significantly influence participants' scores on True Positive responses on the PMIT. Participants who self-identified Farsi as their 1st language recalled fewer pictures correctly on the PMIT when compared to their monolingual English-speaking counterparts. This study revealed the relevance of considering 1st language and cultural differences among ethnic minorities when administering nonverbal assessment measures of visual memory.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (PsyD) -- Psychology; Iranian Americans -- Psychological testing.

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Gallardo, Miguel E.;