Assessment of Adolescent and Adult Intelligence
In general adult and adolescent intelligence is assessed for reasons similar to those for children. In a survey of American Psychological Association (APA) members, Harrison, Kaufman, Hickman, and Kaufman (1988) found that the main reason for the use of intelligence tests with adults was to measure an individual“s cognitive potential or capacity. This is usually the overarching reason that children are assessed. The second reason cited by respondents in the Harrison et al. study was to gather clinically useful information. Respondents also listed assessment of the functional integrity of the brain as important. In this survey, respondents indicated that they assess a rather normal distribution of adults across all IQ levels, except for a relative bulge in the category listed as below 70. Fewer than half of the APA respondents used intelligence tests for the purpose of either educational or vocational placement or intervention. As most school-age children and adolescents are tested for the purpose of educational placement and intervention, this last finding clearly highlights a difference between the assessment of children or adolescents and adults.
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