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Age-neutrality of the NEO-PI-R: potential differential item functioning in older versus younger adults

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Abstract
Geriatric researchers and clinicians often have to deal with a lack of valid personality measures for older age groups (e.g., Mroczek, Hurt, & Berman, 1999; Zweig 2008), which hampers a reliable assessment of personality in later life. An age-neutral measurement system is one of the basic conditions for an accurate personality assessment across the lifespan, both longitudinally and cross-sectionally. In the present study, we empirically investigate the age-neutrality of one of the most widely used personality measures (i.e., the NEO PI-R (Costa & McCrae, 1992)), by examining potential Differential Item Functioning (DIF). Overall, results indicate that the vast majority (92.9 % at domain-level and 95 % at facet-level) of the NEO PI-R items was similarly endorsed by younger and older age groups with the same position on the personality trait of interest, corroborating the NEO PI-R’s age neutrality. However, Differential Test Functioning (DTF) analyses revealed large DTF for Extraversion, and facet A6 (Tender-Mindedness). Results are discussed in terms of their implications for using the current format of the NEO PI-R in older aged samples.
Keywords
5-FACTOR MODEL, Older Adults, PERSONALITY-DISORDERS, DIF, PERSPECTIVE, ESTIMATOR, INVENTORY, TESTS, BIAS, LIFE, NEO PI-R, Differential Item Functioning, Assessment, Personality

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MLA
Van den Broeck, Joke, Gina Rossi, Eva Dierckx, et al. “Age-neutrality of the NEO-PI-R: Potential Differential Item Functioning in Older Versus Younger Adults.” JOURNAL OF PSYCHOPATHOLOGY AND BEHAVIORAL ASSESSMENT 34.3 (2012): 361–369. Print.
APA
Van den Broeck, Joke, Rossi, G., Dierckx, E., & De Clercq, B. (2012). Age-neutrality of the NEO-PI-R: potential differential item functioning in older versus younger adults. JOURNAL OF PSYCHOPATHOLOGY AND BEHAVIORAL ASSESSMENT, 34(3), 361–369.
Chicago author-date
Van den Broeck, Joke, Gina Rossi, Eva Dierckx, and Barbara De Clercq. 2012. “Age-neutrality of the NEO-PI-R: Potential Differential Item Functioning in Older Versus Younger Adults.” Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment 34 (3): 361–369.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Van den Broeck, Joke, Gina Rossi, Eva Dierckx, and Barbara De Clercq. 2012. “Age-neutrality of the NEO-PI-R: Potential Differential Item Functioning in Older Versus Younger Adults.” Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment 34 (3): 361–369.
Vancouver
1.
Van den Broeck J, Rossi G, Dierckx E, De Clercq B. Age-neutrality of the NEO-PI-R: potential differential item functioning in older versus younger adults. JOURNAL OF PSYCHOPATHOLOGY AND BEHAVIORAL ASSESSMENT. 2012;34(3):361–9.
IEEE
[1]
J. Van den Broeck, G. Rossi, E. Dierckx, and B. De Clercq, “Age-neutrality of the NEO-PI-R: potential differential item functioning in older versus younger adults,” JOURNAL OF PSYCHOPATHOLOGY AND BEHAVIORAL ASSESSMENT, vol. 34, no. 3, pp. 361–369, 2012.
@article{4415728,
  abstract     = {Geriatric researchers and clinicians often have to deal with a lack of valid personality measures for older age groups (e.g., Mroczek, Hurt, & Berman, 1999; Zweig 2008), which hampers a reliable assessment of personality in later life. An age-neutral measurement system is one of the basic conditions for an accurate personality assessment across the lifespan, both longitudinally and cross-sectionally. In the present study, we empirically investigate the age-neutrality of one of the most widely used personality measures (i.e., the NEO PI-R (Costa & McCrae, 1992)), by examining potential Differential Item Functioning (DIF). Overall, results indicate that the vast majority (92.9 % at domain-level and 95 % at facet-level) of the NEO PI-R items was similarly endorsed by younger and older age groups with the same position on the personality trait of interest, corroborating the NEO PI-R’s age neutrality. However, Differential Test Functioning (DTF) analyses revealed large DTF for Extraversion, and facet A6 (Tender-Mindedness). Results are discussed in terms of their implications for using the current format of the NEO PI-R in older aged samples.},
  author       = {Van den Broeck, Joke and Rossi, Gina and Dierckx, Eva and De Clercq, Barbara},
  issn         = {0882-2689},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF PSYCHOPATHOLOGY AND BEHAVIORAL ASSESSMENT},
  keywords     = {5-FACTOR MODEL,Older Adults,PERSONALITY-DISORDERS,DIF,PERSPECTIVE,ESTIMATOR,INVENTORY,TESTS,BIAS,LIFE,NEO PI-R,Differential Item Functioning,Assessment,Personality},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {361--369},
  title        = {Age-neutrality of the NEO-PI-R: potential differential item functioning in older versus younger adults},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10862-012-9287-4},
  volume       = {34},
  year         = {2012},
}

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