College of Psychology: Faculty Articles


Category Fluency Test: Normative Data for English- and Spanish-Speaking Elderly

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Neuropsychological Tests, Spanish Speakers, Category Fluency Test, Normative Data, Elderly, Hispanic Americans, Bilingualism, Verbal Behavior

Publication Title

Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society








Category fluency tasks are an important component of neuropsychological assessment, especially when evaluating for dementia syndromes. The growth in the number of Spanish-speaking elderly in the United States has increased the need for appropriate neuropsychological measures and normative data for this population. This study provides norms for English and Spanish speakers, over the age of 50, on 3 frequently used measures of category fluency: animals, vegetables, and fruits. In addition, it examines the impact of age, education, gender, language, and depressed mood on total fluency scores and on scores on each of these fluency measures. A sample of 702 cognitively intact elderly, 424 English speakers, and 278 Spanish speakers, participated in the study. Normative data are provided stratified by language, age, education, and gender. Results evidence that regardless of the primary language of the examinee, age, education, and gender are the strongest predictors of total category fluency scores, with gender being the best predictor of performance after adjusting for age and education. English and Spanish speakers obtained similar scores on animal and fruit fluency, but English speakers generated more vegetable exemplars than Spanish speakers. Results also indicate that different fluency measures are affected by various factors to different degrees. (JINS, 2000, 6, 760–769.)


This is a copy of an article published in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society © 2000, copyright Cambridge University Press; Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society is available online at: