Differences Between Semantic and Phonemic Verbal Fluency in Adolescents With Reading Disorders

Gitit Kavé, Smadar Sapir-Yogev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to examine which verbal fluency task is most useful in assessing adolescents with reading disorders (RD).

METHOD: Eighty-three Hebrew-speaking adolescents (ages 12-15), 42 of them with RD, completed semantic and phonemic fluency tasks, and their scores were converted to standardized scores according to population norms.

RESULTS: Scores on the semantic task were similar in the RD and the control group, unlike scores on the phonemic task, which were significantly lower in the RD group. The RD group demonstrated higher semantic than phonemic scores, unlike the control group whose standardized scores on both tasks were similar. Phonemic but not semantic fluency scores predicted spelling scores within the RD group.

CONCLUSIONS: Adolescents with RD have no difficulty on a semantic fluency task, but perform below expected age-matched levels on the phonemic fluency task. To document this task-difference, practitioners must administer both fluency tasks when assessing RD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-130
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Clinical Neuropsychology
Issue number1
Early online date30 Jul 2022
StatePublished - 21 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permission@oup.com.


  • Category fluency
  • Hebrew
  • Letter fluency
  • Reading difficulties
  • Spelling


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