Abstract

OBJECTIVES. Our objectives were (1) to compare the differential effects of cultural and sociodemographic variables on the cognitive performance of Israeli and Palestinian children, (2) to examine validity of the Loewenstein Occupational Therapy Cognitive Assessment (LOTCA) for kindergarten children, and (3) to determine the feasibility of using the LOTCA as a screening tool for assessing Palestinian children’s cognitive abilities.

METHOD. Participants were 101 Jewish Israeli and 125 Muslim Palestinian children, ranging in grade from kindergarten to second grade.

RESULTS. Israeli children achieved significantly higher scores than the Palestinian children on most LOTCA domains. We obtained significant Grade × Cultural Group interaction effects (F[10, 364] = 1.73, p < .001, effect size [ES] − η2 = .045) and also found a significant Cultural Group × Mother's Education interaction (F[5, 184] = 2.49, p < .05, ES − η2 = .064).

CONCLUSION. Cultural and sociodemographic variables appear to affect cognitive performance. The LOTCA revealed cognitive differences between the cultural groups and school grades and may thus constitute an appropriate evaluation tool focusing on children’s school grade promotion.

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