Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Donald P. Masey PsyD

Second Advisor

Susan Mindel, PhD

Third Advisor

Natia Pantsulaia, MD

Fourth Advisor

Stephanie Felgoise, PhD, ABPP


Over the past several decades, bilingual advantage has been a topic of continuous debate among neuroscientists and linguists. Bilingualism was thought to negatively affect one’s cognitive development. Although a number of studies have shown positive effects of bilingualism on executive functioning, this view has been often challenged on methodological grounds. The current study examined monolingual and bilingual Georgian-American immigrant participants (N = 130). The results of this study showed that the bilingual individuals performed superior to the monolingual participants on three measures of executive functioning. In addition, the level of performance on measures of executive functioning that emerged in bilingual participants was found to be associated with the level of proficiency in their second language. Thus, the better performance on all measures of executive functioning emerged in bilingual participants with the greater proficiency in their second language in comparison to their monolingual counterparts or those with relatively inferior second-language proficiency. The findings indicate that bilingualism positively impacts cognitive shifting, inhibition, and updating and that there is a positive relationship between the levels of bilingualism and executive functioning. Normative data on performance on measures of executive functioning in a Georgian- American population sample were established.

Included in

Psychology Commons