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Measurement equivalence of neuropsychological tests across education levels in older adults.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

The objective was to determine whether neuropsychological tests provide an equivalent measure of the same psychological constructs in older adults with low versus higher levels of education.

METHOD

Confirmatory factor analysis was used to evaluate the fit of a three-factor model (Verbal Ability, Visuospatial Ability, Long-Term Retention) to scores from the neuropsychological battery of the Canadian Study of Health and Aging (CSHA). Measurement equivalence of the model across lower educated (LE; ≤8 years) and higher educated (HE; ≥9 years) participants was evaluated using invariance testing.

RESULTS

The measurement model demonstrated adequate fit across LE and HE samples but the loadings of the 11 tests onto the three factors could not be constrained equally across groups. Animal Fluency and the Token Test were identified as noninvariant tests of Verbal Ability that, when freed from constraints, produced a partial metric invariance model. Scalar invariance testing identified the Buschke Cued Recall Test and Block Design as measures with invariant factor loadings but noninvariant intercepts. Analyses were replicated in age- and sex-matched subsamples.

CONCLUSIONS

Metric and scalar invariance across HE and LE samples was achieved for seven of the 11 tests in the CSHA battery. Animal Fluency and the Token Test were noninvariant measures of Verbal Ability, suggesting that cognitive processes underlying performance on these tests may vary as a function of education. In addition, scores from Block Design and the Buschke Cued Recall Test were observed to differ in their scale of measurement between HE and LE examinees.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    a Department of Psychology and Centre on Aging , University of Victoria , Victoria , BC , Canada.

    ,

    Source

    MeSH

    Aged
    Aged, 80 and over
    Aging
    Cognition Disorders
    Cognitive Reserve
    Educational Status
    Factor Analysis, Statistical
    Female
    Humans
    Longitudinal Studies
    Male
    Mental Status Schedule
    Models, Statistical
    Neuropsychological Tests
    Psychometrics
    Retrospective Studies

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    25396690