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Dementia & Neuropsychologia

Print version ISSN 1980-5764

Dement. neuropsychol. vol.5 no.2 São Paulo Apr./June 2011

https://doi.org/10.1590/S1980-57642011DN05020004 

Original Articles

Performance of Brazilian children on phonemic and semantic verbal fluency tasks

Desempenho de crianças brasileiras em testes de fluência verbal fonêmica e semântica

Helenice Charchat-Fichman 1  

Rosinda Martins Oliveira 2  

Andreza Morais da Silva 3  

1Doutorado, Departamento de Psicologia, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro RJ, Brazil;

2Doutorado, Departamento de Psicometria, Instituto de Psicologia, Universidade ederal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro RJ, Brazil;.

3Psicóloga, Curso de Psicologia, Universidade Estácio de Sá, Rio de Janeiro RJ, Brazil.


Abstract

The most used verbal fluency paradigms are semantic and letter fluency tasks. Studies suggest that these paradigms access semantic memory and executive function and are sensitive to frontal lobe disturbances. There are few studies in Brazilian samples on these paradigms.

Objective:

The present study investigated performance, and the effects of age, on verbal fluency tasks in Brazilian children. The results were compared with those of other studies, and the consistency of the scoring criteria data is presented.

Methods:

A sample of 119 children (7 to 10 years old) was submitted to the three phonemic fluency (F, A, M) tasks and three semantic fluency (animals, clothes, fruits) tasks. The results of thirty subjects were scored by two independent examiners.

Results:

A significant positive correlation was found between the scores calculated by the two independent examiners. Significant positive correlations were found between performance on the semantic fluency task and the phonemic fluency task. The effect of age was significant for both tasks, and a significant difference was found between the 7- and 9-year-old subjects and between the 7- and 10-year-old subjects. The 8-year-old group did not differ to any of the other age groups.

Conclusion:

The pattern of results was similar to that observed in previous Brazilian and international studies.

Key words: child development; memory; neuropsychological tests; executive functions; language tests; cognition.

Resumo

Os paradigmas de fluência verbal mais usados são tarefas de fluência verbal fonêmica e por categoria semântica. Estudos indicam que estes paradigmas acessam a memória semântica e as funções executivas. Existem poucos estudos com amostras brasileiras sobre estes paradigmas.

Objetivo:

Investigar o desempenho e efeito de idade de crianças brasileiras em paradigmas de fluência verbal, comparar os resultados com estudos estrangeiros e avaliar a consistência dos critérios de pontuação entre examinadores.

Métodos:

Uma amostra de 119 crianças, entre 7 e 10 anos de idade, foi submetida a três tarefas de fluência por letra (F, A, M) e três de fluência semântica (animais, roupas, frutas). Trinta protocolos foram pontuados por dois examinadores independentes.

Resultados:

Observou-se correlação positiva e significativa entre os escores calculados pelos dois examinadores independentes. Também verificou-se uma correlação positiva e significativa entre as tarefas de fluência semântica e entre as tarefas de fluência por letra. O efeito de idade foi significante para os dois tipos de tarefa e observou-se diferença significativa entre o desempenho dos grupos de 7 e 9 anos, assim como entre 7 e 10 anos de idade. O desempenho do grupo de 8 anos não foi diferente dos outros grupos.

Conclusão:

O padrão de resultados observado é comparável a estudos estrangeiros.

Palavras-chave: desenvolvimento infantil; memória; testes neuropsicológicos,funções executivas; testes de linguagem; cognição.

Texto completo disponível apenas em PDF.

Full text available only in PDF format.

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Received: February 10, 2011; Accepted: April 29, 2011

Helenice Charchat-Fichman - Rua Visconde de Pirajá, 550 / sala 603 - 22410-002 Rio de Janeiro RJ - Brazil. . E-mail: hcharchat@uol.com.br

Disclosure: The authors reports no conflicts of interest.

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