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Research Article Open Access

Social and Cognitive Development of the Bilingual Brain: Advantage and Disadvantage


Bilingual individuals make up a growing part of the United States population. Regardless of controversy on the existence of bilingual advantage vs. disadvantage, the children and families who make up the bilingual patient cohort require special considerations when providing care. Understanding the medical and academic needs of this patient cohort requires an understanding of current available research and policy surrounding this issue. This article discusses unique neuronal make up as well as proposed differences on cognitive processing between bilinguals and monolinguals. Through a review of currently published literature on this topic, this article equips the school nurse with the necessary background to manage the care for these patients as well as provide appropriate anticipatory guidance in an ever-changing environment.

Hana Conlon, Rita Marie John

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