Publication

Aging in multilingual Netherlands: Effects on cognition, wellbeing and health

Pot, A., 2019, [Groningen]: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. 252 p.

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)Academic

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Documents

  • Title and contents

    Final publisher's version, 259 KB, PDF-document

  • Chapter 1

    Final publisher's version, 193 KB, PDF-document

  • Chapter 2

    Final publisher's version, 367 KB, PDF-document

  • Chapter 3

    Final publisher's version, 414 KB, PDF-document

    Embargo ends: 31/01/2020

  • Chapter 4

    Final publisher's version, 222 KB, PDF-document

  • Chapter 5

    Final publisher's version, 654 KB, PDF-document

  • Chapter 6

    Final publisher's version, 227 KB, PDF-document

  • Chapter 7

    Final publisher's version, 200 KB, PDF-document

  • Appendices

    Final publisher's version, 535 KB, PDF-document

  • Nederlandse samenvatting

    Final publisher's version, 147 KB, PDF-document

  • Curriculum vitae

    Final publisher's version, 143 KB, PDF-document

  • GRODIL

    Final publisher's version, 159 KB, PDF-document

  • Complete thesis

    Final publisher's version, 1 MB, PDF-document

    Embargo ends: 31/01/2020

  • Propositions

    Final publisher's version, 53 KB, PDF-document

Aging in a multilingual environment can contribute positively to cognition, but also has consequences for the wellbeing of older adults who age in an environment where the dominant language differs from their mother tongue. This dissertation reports on a large study towards the individual effects of multilingualism on executive functions. The second half of the dissertation reports on a qualitative study towards a potential language barrier for older Turkish women who age in the Netherlands.

The continuous suppression of a language in the multilingual mind is assumed to train the brain. However, it seems difficult to ascribe cognitive consequences directly to multilingualism, especially when comparing groups of mono- and multilinguals, thereby ignoring individual variability within the groups. This dissertation therefore posits to consider under which circumstances multilingualism contributes to cognitive performance within a diverse multilingual population. A high degree of quality of life, certain personality characteristics and the opportunity to use the different languages in various social environments leads to enhanced performance on a cognitive attention-task.

In interviews with older Turkish women it is observed that a low command of the second language (L2, Dutch) may lead to language anxiety. This has repercussions for the formation of L2 social relations, feelings of belonging and low levels of wellbeing. Being well-embedded in a social network (L1 or L2), however, can lower language anxiety. A language barrier and lower levels of wellbeing are therefore only reported for those adults who are linguistically dependent but do not have a social (support)network.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Award date31-Jan-2019
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Publisher
Print ISBNs978-94-034-1335-8
Electronic ISBNs978-94-034-1334-1
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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