Does Instruction in Semantic Clustering and Switching Enhance Verbal Fluency in Children?

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Abstract

This study investigated (1) test-retest reliabilities of Verbal Fluency (VF) outcome measures (i.e., word productivity, clustering, and switching) and (2) the effects of a brief training on semantic clustering to improve performance on a VF task. A total of 81 children enrolled in grades 3-6 completed a traditional VF task twice. In between task administrations half of the children were given instruction on using semantic clustering and switching to improve their VF, while the other half served as a control group. Test-retest reliability coefficients of the control group (N = 40) were substantial for "word productivity over 60 seconds" (riccs varied between 0.45 and 0.64) but only moderate for "clustering" (0.31) and "switching" (0.31). Next only the older children improved on VF after instruction on semantic clustering; the younger children appeared to understand the instruction but had to use up a great deal of cognitive load trying to implement this new strategy. This paper describes (1) the impact of strategy instruction on performance and (2) the need to analyze, at a process level, multifactorial tasks, so as to gain a better understanding of their functional components.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1019-1037
Number of pages19
JournalNeuropsychology, Development and Cognition. Section D: The Clinical Neuropsychologist
Volume26
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

Keywords

  • Verbal fluency
  • Meta-cognition
  • Strategy use
  • Developmental trajectories
  • Switching
  • TEST-RETEST RELIABILITY
  • WORD-ASSOCIATION TEST
  • SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN
  • EXECUTIVE FUNCTION
  • DEVELOPMENTAL ASPECTS
  • QUALITATIVE-ANALYSIS
  • CATEGORY FLUENCY
  • HEALTHY-ADULTS
  • INITIAL LETTER
  • TASKS

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