Normative Symbol Digit Modalities Test performance in a community-based sample

Laura K. Sheridan, Hiram E. Fitzgerald, Kenneth M. Adams, Joel T. Nigg, Michelle M. Martel, Leon I. Puttler, Maria M. Wong, Robert A. Zucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

248 Scopus citations


The Symbol Digit Modalities Test [SDMT; Smith, A. (1982). Symbol Digit Modalities Test. Los Angeles: Western Psychological Services; Smith, A. (1968). The symbol-digit modalities test: a neuropsychologic test of learning and other cerebral disorders. In J. Helmuth (Ed.), Learning disorders (pp. 83-91). Seattle: Special Child Publications] is a substitution task that is the inverse of the Digit Symbol Test [Wechsler, D. (1955). Manual for the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). New York: The Psychological Corporation]. The familiar task of filling numbers in boxes, and the availability of an oral administration, make this a popular screening instrument for brain impairment. Normative data were previously reported for a variety of clinical groups, but complete information on non-clinical samples across age, education, gender, and socioeconomic status is limited. The present study examines the performance of a community-dwelling control sample across age, education, gender, and income groupings. In a multivariate model, these four variables did not impact test performance. These results support the utilization of the SDMT as a robust screening test for adult neuropsychological impairment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-28
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Clinical Neuropsychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism grants R01 AA12217, R37 AA07065, and T32 AA07477 to R.A. Zucker, J.T. Nigg, and H.E. Fitzgerald.


  • Cognitive ability
  • Neuropsychological assessment
  • Normative sample

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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