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Verbal Fluency Test, Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS)

Please visit this website for more information about the instrument: Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System.


Supplemental: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Short Description of Instrument

The Verbal Fluency (VP) test is a subset of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) which is the first nationally standardized set of tests to evaluate higher level cognitive functions in both children and adults.
The D-KEFS VF is an executive function test with three conditions: phonemic fluency (child must name words beginning with a certain letter), semantic fluency (child must name words that fall into certain categories), and semantic switching. There are alternate forms for verbal fluency.
The D-KEFS VF can be given to children ages 8-19 years.

Strengths/Weaknesses: The battery provides an updated normative sample for a number of classic neuropsychological tests of executive function and has been widely employed in research and clinical use.
"The D-KEFS VF was selected … because verbal fluency has been shown to be sensitive to TBI severity and to focal left frontal lesions and because all of the D-KEFS tests were standardized on normative data for 1,750 typically developing children. … The integration of verbal fluency with semantic fluency and the switching condition also potentially enhances the usefulness of the D-KEFS VF as a measure of executive function." – McCauley et al. 2012

The D-KEFS is individually administered in a game-like format. The Verbal Fluency Test is one of nine subtests which in their entirety take 90 minutes to complete. Test is to be used only by individuals with a doctorate in psychology, education, or related field. Administrator must be comfortable scoring and timing simultaneously.
Raw scores are converted to scaled scores (M=10, SD=3).

Delis, D., Kaplan, E., and Kramar, J. (2001). Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System. Pearson Assessment: San Antonio, TX.
Levin, H., Song, J., Ewing-Cobbs, L., Chapman, J., and Mendelsohn, D. (2001). Word fluency in relation to severity of closed head injury, associated frontal brain lesions, and age injury in children. Neuropsychologia 39(2), 122-131.
Strong, C., Tiesma, D., and Donders, J. (2010). Criterion Validity of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) Fluency Subtests after traumatic brain injury. J Int Neuropsychol Soc, 1-8
Ziviani, J., Ottenbacher, K., Shephard, K., Foreman, S., Astbury, W., and Ireland, P. (2001). Concurrent validity of the Functional Independence Measure for Children (WeeFIM) and the Pediatric Evaluation of Disabilities Inventory in children with developmental disabilities and acquired brain injuries. Phys Occup Ther Pediatr 21(2-3), 91-101.


Document last updated April 2020