Verbal fluency tasks are commonly used in cognitive and developmental neuropsychology in assessing executive functions, language skills as well as divergent thinking. Twenty-two typically developing children and 22 children with ADHD between the ages of 8 and12 years were examined using verbal fluency tasks, prepotent response inhibition, and working memory tests. The clinical group showed impaired inhibitory and spatial working memory processes. We used different qualitative analyses of verbal fluency tasks to explore the lexical and executive strategies (word clustering and switching), and the temporal properties of the responses. Children with ADHD had a leeway in applying relevant lexical or executive strategies related to difficulties in strategy using. The reduced efficiency of children with ADHD in semantic fluency task is based on suboptimal shifting between word clusters and is related to the lack of ability of producing new clusters of items. The group difference appeared at the level of accessing and/or activating common words; however, the executive process of searching the lexicon extensively is intact.
- Executive functions
- Verbal fluency
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology