NCDS – Age 50 – Verbal Fluency (Animal Naming) Test

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The 1958 National Child Development Study (NCDS) assessed their cohort members (CMs) during the study’s age 50 sweep using the Verbal Fluency (Animal Naming) Test.

Details on this measure and the data collected from the CMs are outlined in the table below.


Domain:Verbal (fluency)
Measures:Verbal/semantic fluency
Executive function
CHC:Glr (Long-term storage and retrieval)
Administration method:Trained interviewer; CAPI
Procedure:Participants were asked to name as many different animals as possible within a one-minute timeframe. The interviewer made a note of each named animal and entered the total number into the CAPI programme. Repetitions, named animals (e.g. Bambi), and redundancies (e.g. white cat, black cat) were not included in the total score.
Link to questionnaire:https://cls.ucl.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/NCDS_8_FINAL_MAINSTAGE_DOCUMENTATION.pdf (opens in new tab)
Scoring:Total number of animals named
Item-level variable(s):None
Total score/derived variable(s):N8CFANIT - N8CFANI
Descriptives:Raw score
N = 9,648
Range = 0 - 65
Mean = 22.28
SD = 6.30
(click image to enlarge)
Age of participants (months):Mean = 608.27, SD = 1.92, Range = 598-614
Other sweep and/or cohort:NCDS – Age 61-63 – Proposed repeat of tests at age 50
NSHD – Age 53 – Verbal Fluency (Animal Naming) Test
BCS70 – Age 46-47 – Verbal Fluency (Animal Naming) Test
ALSPAC – Focus on Mothers 2 – Verbal Fluency Test
ALSPAC – Focus on Mothers 3 – Verbal Fluency Test
ALSPAC – Focus on Mothers 4 – Verbal Fluency Test
Source:Taken from Section B (cognitive assessment) of the Cambridge Mental Disorders of the Elderly Examination (CAMDEX) (Roth et al., 1986). Cognitive measures at this sweep were taken from the 2002 English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA; Taylor et al., 2007).
Technical resources:Brown, M., & Dodgeon, B. (2010). NCDS cognitive assessments at age 50: initial results. London: Centre for Longitudinal Studies.
Reference examples:Dregan, A., & Gulliford, M. C. (2013). Leisure-time physical activity over the life course and cognitive functioning in late mid-adult years: a cohort-based investigation. Psychological Medicine, 43(11), 2447-2458.
Bowling, A., Pikhartova, J., & Dodgeon, B. (2016). Is mid-life social participation associated with cognitive function at age 50? Results from the British National Child Development Study (NCDS). BMC Psychology, 4(1), 58.

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