Revisiting the need for age-based norms in personality assessment using the Cleveland Adaptive Personality Questionnaire
The need for age-based norms in personality assessment is of great interest given the trend of adjusting for demographic variables in neurocognitive assessment. We examined the need for age-based norms using the Cleveland Adaptive Personality Questionnaire (CAPQ; Poreh & Levin, 2019) in 1422 individuals with ages ranging from 25-95 (M= 44.5, SD = 16.06). Results show that scores on the CAPQ's clinical scales linearly decline across the lifespan in conjunction with a linear increase on measures of social desirability. Power analysis (Eta2) indicates that the CAPQ’s Avoidant scale produced the largest effect, followed by a moderate effect for the Anxiety, Borderline, Depression, and Paranoia scales, in that order. However, when the social desirability scale served as a covariate, only the Avoidant and Depression scales significantly declined across age/cohort showing medium and small power, respectively. These findings are consistent with the literature on other multi-scale personality assessment measures. In sum, while age-based norms do not seem to be necessary, a linear regression-based algorithm that controls for social desirability would improve the meaningfulness of personality assessment results across the lifespan.