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The effects of age, education, and ethnicity on verbal fluency

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 November 1998

DANIEL KEMPLER
Affiliation:
Department of Otolaryngology, School of Medicine, School of Gerontology, University of Southern California
EVELYN L. TENG
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, University of Southern California
MALCOLM DICK
Affiliation:
Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Institute of Brain Aging & Dementia, University of California, Irvine
I. MARIBEL TAUSSIG
Affiliation:
School of Gerontology, University of Southern California
DEBORAH S. DAVIS
Affiliation:
School of Social Ecology, University of California, Irvine

Abstract

A group of 317 healthy participants between 54 and 99 years of age performed a verbal fluency task. The participants included Chinese, Hispanic, and Vietnamese immigrants, as well as White and African American English speakers. They were given 1 min to name as many animals as possible in their native language. The results showed that more animal names were produced by younger people and those with more education. Language background was also an important factor: The Vietnamese produced the most animal names and the Spanish speakers produced the fewest. The exaggerated difference between these two groups is attributed to the fact that Vietnamese animal names are short (predominantly 1 syllable) while the Spanish animal names are longer than any other language in this study (2 and 3 syllables per word). Finally, although the ethnic groups named different animals, and appeared to vary in the variety of animal names they used, these factors did not affect overall verbal fluency performance. (JINS, 1998, 4, 531–538.)

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 1998 The International Neuropsychological Society

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