Can forms be used outside their designated age ranges?

PRESCHOOL (ages 1½-5):
For children who are a few months younger or older than the designated age range, there is not likely to be much error in using the Preschool forms and their norms. However, the greater the deviation in age from the norms, the less appropriate the norms will be.

If children are to be reassessed over periods that are mainly within the age range designated for the Preschool forms but that include one or two assessments that are no more than about 4 months outside this age range, it may be better to use the Preschool forms at all assessment points to maintain complete continuity of item and scale scores, rather than using instruments designated for a different age range.

SCHOOL-AGE (ages 6-18):
For children who are a few months younger or older than the designated age range, there is not likely to be much error in using the School-Age forms and their norms. However, the greater the deviation in age from the norms, the less appropriate the norms will be.

If children are to be reassessed over periods that are mainly within the age range designated for the School-age forms but that include one or two assessments that are within about 4 months below or above the designated age range, it may be better to use the School-age forms at all assessment points to maintain complete continuity of item and scale scores, rather than using instruments designated for younger or older ages.

ADULTS (ages 18-59):
For adults who are a year younger or older than the designated age range, there will not be much error in using the Adult forms and their norms. However, the greater the deviation in age from the norms, the less appropriate the norms will be.

If people are to be reassessed over periods that are mainly within the age range designated for the Adult forms but that include one or two assessments that are within about a year below or above the designated age range, it may be better to use the Adult forms at all assessment points to maintain complete continuity of item and scale scores, rather than using instruments designated for younger or older ages.

OLDER ADULTS (ages 60-90+):
For people who are 57 to 59 years old, there will not be much error in using the Older Adult forms and their norms. At ages much above 90, the norms become less relevant for the following reasons:

a) The normative samples did not include many people older than 90.
b) Above the age of 90, most people's functioning is apt to be increasingly affected by physical limitations.

However, the raw and item scale scores continue to provide helpful information about people's adaptive strengths and problems. Furthermore, stability and change can be evaluated by having the Older Adult forms completed at convenient intervals, even if norms are less relevant than at younger ages.

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