This article reports on the relation between aging and personal adjustment. Current personality scales are not developed for older persons. Scales contain items which are not valid for an aging population and contain too many items for administration in older populations. As part of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA) Neuroticism in older persons was measured with a shortened version of the Inadequacy (IN) and Social Inadequacy (SI) scales of the Dutch Personality Questionnaire (DPQ). The utility of these shortened scales was assessed based on internal consistency, inter-item correlations, test-retest reliability and factor analysis. The consistency of the personality dimension Neuroticism was assessed based on cohort-differences and a 6-year longitudinal comparison. The research-population contained 2118 respondents at baseline, aged between 55 and 85 years, 49 % were male and they were not living in an institution. The shortened scales appeared to be reliable and valid instruments to measure Neuroticism in the elderly. The gaining of time due to the administration of the shortened scales enlarges the feasibility of the scales for measuring Neuroticism in older persons. Results showed no significant age-difference on the IN-scale, but revealed a significant difference on the SI-scale (p < .01). The 65+ elderly (65-74 and 75-85) have higher scores on Social Inadequacy than the youngest elderly (55-64). Longitudinal analyses showed an interaction between age at baseline and the stability and change of the level of Neuroticism. On both scales the youngest age-group showed a significant decline in mean level of Neuroticism (p < .01). The mean level of Social Inadequacy in the oldest age-group showed an increase during the 6-year follow-up period (p < .05). However, the differences were very small. Future research is needed to assess the effect of related variables on Neuroticism in older persons.
|Translated title of the contribution||Neuroticism in the elderly: The utility of the shortened DPQ-scales|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Tijdschrift voor Gerontologie en Geriatrie|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2003|