Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

pp 60-61

Age Equivalent

  • Laura TinsleyAffiliated withUniversity of Texas


Age equivalent score; Age score; Developmental norms; Norm-referenced scores; Phylogenetic equivalents; Relative performance indexes


Age Equivalent is the individual's ability; skill, knowledge, or measurement expressed as the age at which most individuals reach the same level (age norm). The Age Norm is the average score of a particular test completed by children of a given chronological age.

For example, the mental age norm of a 6-year old female is determined by collecting a sample of 6-year old female children’s mental abilities, then calculating that average cognitive function as the age norm. This average mental function is the age norm for that group. The cognitive function equivalent of the 6-year-old female will then be compared against this age norm.


Age Equivalents are not only used in intelligence measurement, but also physical development such as physical growth (i.e., height and weight, verbal quantity and quality) an ...

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