The Stroop Color-Word Test: influence of age, sex and education, and normative data from a large sample across the adult age range

W. van der Elst, M.P.J. van Boxtel, G.J.P. van Breukelen, J. Jolles*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Downloads (Pure)


The Stroop Color-Word Test was administered to 1, 856 cognitively screened, healthy Dutch-speaking participants aged 24 to 81 years. The effects of age, gender and education on Stroop test performance were investigated to adequately stratify the normative data. The results showed that especially the speed-dependent Stroop scores (time to complete a subtest), rather than the accuracy measures (the errors made per Stroop subtask), were profoundly affected by the demographic variables. In addition to the main effects of the demographic variables, an Age x Low Level of Education interaction was found for the Error III and the Stroop Interference scores. This suggests that executive function, as measured by the Stroop test, declines with age and that the decline is more pronounced in people with a low level of education. This is consistent with the reserve hypothesis of brain aging (i.e., that education generates reserve capacity against the damaging effects of aging on brain functions). Normative Stroop data were established using both a regression-based and traditional approach, and the appropriateness of both methods for generating normative data is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-79
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006

Cite this