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J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 1989 Aug;11(4):551-68.

Wechsler Memory Scale: a critical appraisal of the normative studies.

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  • 1University of California, Dept. of Psychiatry, Los Angeles 90024.


Numerous reports are available providing normative data for the original Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS) for the greater part of the life span. However, large differences in reported scores across studies examining the same age group, as well as often vague descriptions of subject and procedural variables make the task of choosing appropriate comparison data difficult. Although the long awaited revision of the Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS-R) is now available, at least for the short term, it is likely that investigators will continue to use the original WMS and make inferences based on available normative data. The present paper reviews the strengths and weaknesses of the available normative reports for both the WMS and WMS-R. This determination was based on a set of criteria against which to assess the adequacy of the normative studies. Recommendations are offered for the potential applications and misapplications in research and clinical practice.

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