Word fluency performance and strategies in children with cochlear implants: age-dependent effects?

Authors

  • ULRIKA LÖFKVIST,

    1. Department of Speech and Language Pathology, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Division of Speech and Language Pathology, Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology (CLINTEC), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    3. HEAD Graduate School, Linneaus HEAD, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
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  • OVE ALMKVIST,

    1. Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society (NVS), Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • BJÖRN LYXELL,

    1. HEAD Graduate School, Linneaus HEAD, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
    2. The Swedish Institute for Disability Research and the Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
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  • ING-MARI TALLBERG

    1. Department of Speech and Language Pathology, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Division of Speech and Language Pathology, Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology (CLINTEC), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
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Ulrika Löfkvis, Cochlear Implant Section, M43, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden. Tel:+46 8 58587853; e-mail: ulrika.lofkvist@ki.se

Abstract

Löfkvist, U., Almkvist, O., Lyxell, B. & Tallberg, I.-M. (2012). Word fluency performance and strategies in children with cochlear implants: age-dependent effects? Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 53, 467–474.

Word fluency was examined in 73 Swedish children aged 6–9 years divided into two age groups, 6–7 and 8–9 years; 34 deaf children with cochlear implants (CI) (15 girls/19 boys) and 39 age-matched children with normal hearing (NH) (20 girls/19 boys). One purpose was to compare the ability to retrieve words in two different word fluency tasks; one phonemically based (FAS letter fluency) and one semantically based (animal fluency). A second purpose was to examine retrieval strategies in the two tasks by conducting an analysis of clustering and switching of word sequences. In general we found that age was an important factor for word fluency ability, in both the CI and the NH groups. It was also demonstrated that children with CI aged 8–9 years retrieved significantly fewer words and used less efficient strategies in the retrieval process, especially on the phonemically based task compared to children with NH of the same ages, whereas children 6–7 years performed similarly in both groups regarding number of retrieved words and use of strategies. The results are discussed with respect to factors such as age differences in performance for children with CI, especially for the phonemically based task.

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