The performance of ADHD children on semantic category fluency (SCF) versus initial letter fluency (ILF) tasks was examined. For each participant, word production was recorded for each 15-s time slice on each task. Performance on both fluency tasks was compared to test the hypothesis that children with ADHD are characterized by a performance deficit on the ILF task because performance on this task is less automated than performance on the SCF. Children classified with ADHD (N = 20) were compared to children with other psychopathology (N = I IS) and healthy controls (N = 130). Results indicated that the groups could not be differentiated by the total number of words produced in 60 s in either fluency task. As hypothesized, a significant interaction of group by productivity over time by type of fluency task was found: ADHD children had more problems finding words in the first 15 s of the IFL than did children in the other two groups, and as compared with their performance on the SCF. Results were taken to indicate that children with ADHD symptoms show a delay in the development of automating skills for processing abstract verbal information.
Hurks, P. P. M., Hendriksen, J. G. M., Vles, J. S. H., Kalff, A. C., Feron, F. J. M., Kroes, M., van Zeben-van der Aa, D. M. C. B., Steyaert, J., & Jolles, J. (2004). Verbal fluency over time as a measure of automatic and controlled processing in children with ADHD. Brain and Cognition, 55(3), 535-44. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandc.2004.03.003