ERIC Number: ED303750
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Description and Prediction of Age-Related Change in Everyday Task Performance.
Marsiske, Michael; Willis, Sherry L.
Traditionally, assessment of the cognitive competencies of older adults has focused on abstract laboratory tests, which have often seemed quite unlike the demands of tasks encountered in everyday activities. Consequently, external validity of these laboratory tasks has been questioned, and their utility for assessing real-world competence has been debated. This study examined age-related change in performance on a measure of everyday competence, the ETS Basic Skills Test, a 65-item multiple-choice measure. Subjects were older adults (N=102) who participated in a 7-year follow-up of the Adult Development and Enrichment Program. When change was examined at the intraindividual level, 62 percent of the subjects had scores classified as stable or increased, despite findings of significant mean decline over the 7-year period. Measures of crystallized and fluid intelligences were identified as significant predictors of basic skills performance via multiple regression analyses. The finding of significant intellectual and personal predictors of basic skills performance has two implications for further study of competence in everday activities. First, the findings indicated substantial relationships between traditional, academic forms of intelligence and at least some forms of practical intelligence. Secondly, the findings of the regression analyses suggest that it may be possible to isolate some of the variables predisposing an individual to be "at risk" for incompetence in certain types of everyday tasks. Charts and references are included. (Author/ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. on Aging (DHHS/PHS), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (96th, Atlanta, GA, August 12-16, 1988).