Normative neuropsychological test performance: effects of age, education, gender and ethnicity

Appl Neuropsychol. 1995 May;2(2):79-88. doi: 10.1207/s15324826an0202_5.


Normative data on neuropsychological test performance for a sample of 131 adults (ages 18-49) is presented. All subjects were native speakers of English screened for past or present medical, neurological and psychiatric disorders, including substance abuse. A broad-based battery including measures of intellectual skills, memory and learning, receptive and expressive language, auditory and visual information processing and attention, sensory processing, motor skills, and self-reported anxiety and depression was administered. Means, standard deviations and percentile rankings for all tests are reported. Regression analyses were computed to consider the concurrent influence of sociodemographic factors on all tests. Significant effects of age (M=27.1 yrs), education (M=14.6 yrs), gender (58% male), and ethnicity (62% white) were observed for relatively few test scores. Younger age at testing was associated with better continuous performance test scores. Higher education levels were associated with higher vocabulary and reading scores. Males had higher WAIS-R Information scores and faster Finger Tapping scores compared to females Ethnicity was associated with Full-scale IQ, and additional tests with a verbal component, e.g., Boston Naming Tests, and non-verbal component, e.g., Drawing Tests. We conclude that sociodemographic factors infrequently account for more than 10% of the variance for many neuropsychological test scores.