If ASEBA forms for ages 18 to 59 are completed for an individual and older adult ASEBA forms are subsequently completed for the same individual, how can the scores from the earlier and later assessments be compared?

Answer: Several scales scored from the ages 18- 59 forms are comparable to scales scored from the older adult forms. However, most scales differ somewhat to reflect age differences and to reflect our findings on the covariation among items from the different instruments. The following empirically based scales for ages 18-59 have counterparts that are scored from the older adult forms: Anxious/Depressed; Somatic Complaints; Thought Problems; and Total Problems. The following DSM-oriented scales for ages 18- 59 have counterparts scored from the older adult forms: Depressive Problems; Anxiety Problems; Somatic Problems; and Antisocial Personality Problems. For assessing adaptive functioning, all the items of the Friends scale are the same on the forms for ages 18-59 and for older adults. Most of the items of the Spouse/Partner scale are the same on the ages 18-59 and older adult forms. However, because there are some small differences between the Spouse/Partner scale for ages 18-59 and older adults, the raw scale scores are not directly comparable. To visually compare a person’s standing on the corresponding scales scored from the ages 18-59 forms and the older adult forms, the profiles scored from the different instruments can be viewed side-by-side. Because the T scores indicate a person’s standing relative to the norms for the person’s age, the user can determine whether the person has become less deviant or more deviant from the earlier assessment, compared to the person’s agemates at each assessment. However, because the number and content of the items differ from the ages 18-59 scales to the older adult scales, their raw scores are not comparable.

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