ALSPAC – Focus on Mothers 3 – Verbal Fluency Test

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The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) assessed study mothers during the study’s third ‘Focus on Mothers’ clinic using a Verbal Fluency Test.

The study of ALSPAC study mothers began in 2008 with the aim of determining what factors are related to body size, bone density, blood pressure, glucose, insulin and abnormal blood lipids in women. This ‘Focus on Mothers’ (FOM) study consisted of four clinics held during the following periods: i) 2008 – 2011, ii) 2011 – 2013, iii) 2013 – 2014, and iv) 2014 – 2015. Each clinic lasted approximately 2.5 hours. For further details see Fraser et al. (2012). Along with various physical measures, measures of cognitive ability/functioning were collected at clinics FOM2, FOM3, and FOM4.

Details on the Verbal Fluency Test administered as part of FOM3 are outlined in the table below.


Domain:Verbal fluency
Measures:Verbal/semantic fluency
Associational fluency
Executive function
CHC:Glr (Long-Term Storage and Retrieval)
Administration method:Trained interviewer; face to face; clinical setting
Procedure:Participants were given one minute in which to say as many words as possible beginning with a specific letter. They were instructed not to include proper nouns (e.g. people or place names), numbers, repetitions or variations of the same word (e.g. see - seeing). Three trials were administered (letters 'C', 'F' and 'L'), each lasting one minute.
Link to questionnaire:http://www.bristol.ac.uk/alspac/researchers/our-data/clinical-measures/ (opens in new tab)
Scoring:One point was awarded for each correct word. The total scores from the three trials were summed to create a summary score.
Item-level variable(s):Not readily available
Total score/derived variable(s):fm3cg014
Descriptives:Raw score
N = 2,976
Range = 0 - 98
Mean = 44.93
SD = 12.46
(click image to enlarge)
Age of participants (years):Mean = 52.00, SD = 4.45, Range = 38 - 67
Other sweep and/or cohort:ALSPAC – Focus on Mothers 2 – Verbal Fluency Test
ALSPAC – Focus on Mothers 4 – Verbal Fluency Test
NSHD – Age 53 – Verbal Fluency (Animal Naming) Test*
NCDS – Age 50 – Verbal Fluency (Animal Naming) Test*
NCDS – Age 61-63 – Proposed repeat of tests at age 50
BCS70 – Age 46-47 – Verbal Fluency (Animal Naming) Test*
*Participants asked to name as many animals as possible within one minute. One trial only.
Source:Lezak, M. (2004). Neuropsychological assessment. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Technical resources:None
Reference examples:Anderson, E. L., Heron, J., Ben-Shlomo, Y., Kuh, D., Cooper, R., Lawlor, D. A., ... & Howe, L. D. (2017). Adversity in childhood and measures of aging in midlife: Findings from a cohort of British women. Psychology and Aging, 32(6), 521-530.

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This page is part of CLOSER’s ‘A guide to the cognitive measures in five British birth cohort studies’.