Age Related Psychological Change

Topics: Gerontology, Ageing, Measurement Pages: 3 (731 words) Published: October 22, 2008
Measuring age-related psychological change is an exceptionally difficult and challenging task for even highly skilled professionals. The reasons for this are vast, but there is a general consensus of issues running commonly throughout selected articles in which will be discussed. Common threads of concern in measuring psychological change are firstly defining what age is and how best it is measured to determine differences. Age can be described as one of the most primary social and cultural categories that are universal. (Settersten 1997) Ageing, in humans refers to a process of physical, psychological and social change. It is however an ambigous notion is as it has such a variance in its definition and structuring. What is considered a norm is highly debateable when defining age. Cohorts, cultural differences, values, behaviours even health all present a problem when measuring normalities of aging. Age is essentially an empty variable. How can a scientific measurements be applied and be reliable? Both Hertzog (2003) and Little, Lindenberger and Nesseleroade (1999) suggest the main complexity of reliable research into psychological change is how the measurements are used and applied. Heynes (1995), Hofer; Sliwinski and Flaherty (2002) also all discussed and compared the psychological methods of measurement that are being used and their effectiveness in assessing psychological change relating to age. Interestingly, it is not only issues of choice of design it was also suggested by Hertzog (2003) problems begin with experts unable to ciome to an agreement on measuring, conceptualizing and representing of qualitative change. Measurement began with different methods giving different results there by, relationships between variables not reliable indications Heynes ( 1995) described the measurement tools usually associated with aging research such as cross sectional, longitudinal and time series all caused problems in measuring differences as there was limited...

References: Karaken, D.A. (1997) Judgement pitfalls in estimating premorbid intellectual function. Archives of Clinical Nueropsychology 12, 701-709
Haynes, S.N. , Blaine, D. , Meyer, K. (1995) Dynamic models for psycholgocial assessment phase space functions, Psychological Assessment 7 (1) 17-24

Little, T.D., Lindenberger, U., Nesselroade, J.R. (1999) On Selecting Indicators for multivariate measurement and modelling with latent variables; when "good" indicators are bad and "bad" indicators are good. Psychological Methods 4 (2) 192-211

Hertzog, C., Nesselroade, J.R. (2003) Assessing psychological change in adulthood: an overview of methodological issues. Psychology and aging 18 (4) 639-657`````
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