Hofer & Piccinin, 2010. Toward an integrative science of lifespan development and aging.

Hofer, S. M., & Piccinin, A. M. (2010). Toward an integrative science of lifespan development and aging. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 65B(3), 269-278.

Year: 
2010
Status: 
complete
Abstract: 

The study of aging demands an integrative life-span developmental framework, involving interdisciplinary collaborations and multiple methodological approaches for understanding how and why individuals change, in both normative and idiosyncratic ways. We highlight and summarize some of the issues encountered when conducting integrative research for understanding aging-related change, including, the integration of results across different levels of analysis; the integration of theory, design, and analysis; and the synthesis of results across studies of aging. We emphasize the necessity of longitudinal designs for understanding development and aging and discuss methodological issues that should be considered for achieving reproducible research on within-person processes. It will be important that current and future studies permit opportunities for quantitative comparison across populations given the extent to which historical shifts and cultural differences influence life-span processes and aging-related outcomes.

Van den Kommer et al., 2010. Classification models for early identification of persons at risk for dementia in primary care: An evaluation in a sample aged 80 years and older

Van den Kommer, T. N., Bontempo, D. E., Comijs, H. C., Hofer, S. M., Dik, M. G., Piccinin, A. M., Jonker, C., Deeg, D. J. H., & Johansson, B. (2010). Classification models for early identification of persons at risk for dementia in primary care: An evaluation in a sample aged 80 years and older, Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, 28(6), 567-577.

Year: 
2010
Status: 
complete
Abstract: 

Aim: To evaluate previously developed classification models to make implementation in primary care possible and aid early identification of persons at risk for dementia. Methods: Data were drawn from the OCTO-Twin study. At baseline, 521 persons ≧80 years of age were nondemented, and for 387 a blood sample was available. Predictors of dementia were collected and analyzed in initially nondemented persons using generalized estimating equations and Cox survival analyses. Results: In the basic model using predictors already known or easily obtained (basic set), the mean 2-year predictive value increased from 6.9 to 28.8% in persons with memory complaints and an MMSE score ≤25. In the extended model, using both the basic set and an extended set of predictors requiring further assessment, the 8-year predictive value increased from 15.0 to 45.8% in persons with low cholesterol and an MMSE score ≤24. Conclusion: Both models can contribute to an improved early identification of persons at risk for dementia in primary care.

Sliwinski et al., 2010. Evaluating convergence of within-person change and between-person age differences in age-heterogeneous longitudinal studies.

Sliwinski, M. J., Hoffman, L., & Hofer, S. M. (2010). Evaluating convergence of within-person change and between-person age differences in age-heterogeneous longitudinal studies. Research in Human Development, 7(1), 45-60.

Year: 
2010
Status: 
complete
Abstract: 

The distinction of between-person age differences from within-person age changes is necessary for understanding aging-related change processes. Although longitudinal studies are required to address issues relating to within-person change, most studies begin using age-heterogeneous samples and conclude using survival-heterogeneous samples. Given the numerous potential confounds associated with age-heterogeneous samples, careful treatment of between-person age differences is essential to obtain the correct inferences regarding within-person age change. The authors demonstrate how failure to differentiate between-person age effects (and by extension, of survival age or other effects producing sample heterogeneity) will lead to uninterpretable inferences regarding within-person change. The authors recommend that convergence of age differences and age changes be formally evaluated whenever possible.

Variables: 

Zahodne et al., 2011. Education Does Not Slow Cognitive Decline with Aging: 12-Year Evidence from the Victoria Longitudinal Study

Zahodne, L.B., Glymour, M.M., Sparks, C., Bontempo, D., Dixon, R.A., MacDonald, S.W.S., & Manly, J.J. (2011). Education does not slow cognitive decline with aging: 12-year evidence from the Victoria Longitudinal Study. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 17(6), 1039-1046

Year: 
2011
Status: 
complete
Abstract: 

Although the relationship between education and cognitive status is well-known, evidence regarding whether education moderates the trajectory of cognitive change in late life is conflicting. Early studies suggested that higher levels of education attenuate cognitive decline. More recent studies using improved longitudinal methods have not found that education moderates decline. Fewer studies have explored whether education exerts different effects on longitudinal changes within different cognitive domains. In the present study, we analyzed data from 1014 participants in the Victoria Longitudinal Study to examine the effects of education on composite scores reflecting verbal processing speed, working memory, verbal fluency, and verbal episodic memory. Using linear growth models adjusted for age at enrollment (range, 54–95 years) and gender, we found that years of education (range, 6–20 years) was strongly related to cognitive level in all domains, particularly verbal fluency. However, education was not related to rates of change over time for any cognitive domain. Results were similar in individuals older or younger than 70 at baseline, and when education was dichotomized to reflect high or low attainment. In this large longitudinal cohort, education was related to cognitive performance but unrelated to cognitive decline, supporting the hypothesis of passive cognitive reserve with aging. (JINS, 2011, 17, 1039–1046)

Hoffman et al., 2011. On the confounds among retest gains and age-cohort differences in the estimation of within-person change in longitudinal studies: a simulation study

Hoffman, L., Hofer, S. M., & Sliwinski, M. J. (2011). On the confounds among retest gains and age-cohort differences in the estimation of within-person change in longitudinal studies: A simulation study. Psychology and Aging, 26(4), 778-791.

Year: 
2011
Status: 
complete
Abstract: 

Although longitudinal designs are the only way in which age changes can be directly observed, a recurrent criticism involves to what extent retest effects may downwardly bias estimates of true age-related cognitive change. Considerable attention has been given to the problem of retest effects within mixed effects models that include separate parameters for longitudinal change over time (usually specified as a function of age) and for the impact of retest (specified as a function of number of exposures). Because time (i.e., intervals between assessment) and number of exposures are highly correlated (and are perfectly correlated in equal interval designs) in most longitudinal studies, the separation of effects of within-person change from effects of retest gains is only possible given certain assumptions (e.g., age convergence). To the extent that cross-sectional and longitudinal effects of age differ, obtained estimates of aging and retest may not be informative. The current simulation study investigated the recovery of within-person change (i.e., aging) and retest effects from repeated cognitive testing as a function of number of waves, age range at baseline, and size and direction of age-cohort differences on the intercept and age slope in age-based models of change. Significant bias and Type I error rates in the estimated effects of retest were observed when these convergence assumptions were not met. These simulation results suggest that retest effects may not be distinguishable from effects of aging-related change and age-cohort differences in typical long-term traditional longitudinal designs.

Clouston et al., 2012. Benefits of educational attainment on adult fluid cognition

Clouston, S., Kuh, D., Herd, P., Elliott, J., & Richards, M., & Hofer, S. M. (2012). Benefits of educational attainment on adult fluid cognition: International evidence from three birth cohorts. International Journal of Epidemiology, 41,1729-1736. PMID: 23108707.

Year: 
2012
Status: 
complete
Presentation Citations: 

Clouston, S., Kuh, D., Richards, M., & Hofer, S.M. (August, 2012). The implications of educational benefits and propensity for educational attainment in health research. Paper presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, Denver.

Clouston, S., Richards, M., Kuh, D., & Hofer, S.M. (November, 2011). Selection and causation: The Educational benefit to cognition in later life. In S. M. Hofer & D. Kuh (Chairs), The life course determinants of physical, cognitive, and emotional functioning. Symposium conducted at the 64th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, Boston, MA.

Hofer, S. M., & Clouston, S. (2011, October). Educational benefits in adult cognition: International evidence from three birth cohort studies. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology, Norman, OK.

Clouston, S., Kuh, D., Richards, M., Deary, I. J., Cooper, R., Hardy, R., & Hofer, S. M. (August, 2011). Inequalities in life course cognition: Class reproduction, cognitive selection, and educational advantage in HALCyon cohorts. Paper presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, Las Vegas.

Abstract: 

Background: Educational attainment is highly correlated with social inequalities in adult cognitive health; however, the nature of this correlation is in dispute. Recently, researchers have argued that educational inequalities are an artefact of selection by individual differences in prior cognitive ability, which both drives educational attainment and tracks across the rest of the life course. Although few would deny that educational attainment is at least partly determined by prior cognitive ability, a complementary, yet controversial, view is that education has a direct causal and lasting benefit on cognitive development.

Methods: We use observational data from three birth cohorts, with cognition measured in adolescence and adulthood. Ordinary least squares regression was used to model the relationship between adolescent cognition and adult fluid cognition and to test the sensitivity of our analyses to sample selection, projection and backdoor biases using propensity score matching.

Results: We find that having a university education is correlated with higher fluid cognition in adulthood, after adjustment for adolescent cognition. We do not find that adolescent cognition, gender or parental social class consistently modify this effect; however, women benefited more in the 1946 sample from Great Britain.

Conclusions: In all three birth cohorts, substantial educational benefit remained after adjustment for adolescent cognition and parental social class, offsetting an effect equivalent of 0.5 to 1.5 standard deviations lower adolescent cognition. We also find that the likelihood of earning a university degree depends in part on adolescent cognition, gender and parental social class. We conclude that inequalities in adult cognition derive in part from educational experiences after adolescence.

Lindwall et al., 2012. Dynamic Associations of Change in Physical Activity and Change in Cognitive Function: Coordinated Analyses of Four Longitudinal Studies

Lindwall, M., Cimino, C. R., Gibbons, L. E., Mitchell, M., Benitez, A., Brown, C. L., Kennison, R. F., Shirk, S. D., Atri, A., Robitaille, A., MacDonald, S. W. S., Zelinski, E., Willis, S. L., Schaie, K. W., Johansson, B., Praetorius, M., Dixon, R. A., Mungas, D. M., Hofer, S. M. & Piccinin, A. M. (2012). Dynamic associations of change in physical activity and change in cognitive function: Coordinated analyses of four longitudinal studies. Journal of Aging Research, Article ID 493598, 12 pages, DOI:10.1155/2012/493598.

Year: 
2012
Status: 
complete
Presentation Citations: 

Piccinin, A.M.,  Kennison, R.F., Lindwall, M., Mitchell, M., Cimino, C.R., Benitez, A., Brown, C.L., Gibbons, L.E., MacDonald, S.W.S., Robitaille, A., Shirk, S.D., Atri, A., Zelinski, E., Willis, S.L., Schaie, K.W., Johansson, B., Dixon, R.A., Mungas, D.M., & Hofer, S.M. (October, 2012). Coordinated analysis of cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between physical and cognitive activity and cognition. Paper presented at the 41th Annual Scientific and Educational Meeting of the Canadian Association on Gerontology, Vancouver, BC.

Abstract: 

The present study used a coordinated analyses approach to examine the association of physical activity and cognitive change in four longitudinal studies. A series of multilevel growth models with physical activity included both as a fixed (between-person) and time-varying (within-person) predictor of four domains of cognitive function (reasoning, memory, fluency, and semantic knowledge) was used. Baseline physical activity predicted fluency, reasoning and memory in two studies. However, there was a consistent pattern of positive relationships between time-specific changes in physical activity and time-specific changes in cognition, controlling for expected linear trajectories over time, across all four studies. This pattern was most evident for the domains of reasoning and fluency.

Piccinin et al., 2011. An evaluation of analytical approaches for understanding change in cognition in the context of aging and health

Piccinin, A.M., Muniz, G., Sparks, C., & Bontempo, D.E. (2011). An evaluation of analytical approaches for understanding change in cognition in the context of aging and health.  Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 66 (S1), i36-i49.

Year: 
2011
Status: 
complete
Abstract: 

Objectives. In this article, we discuss the importance of studying the relationship between health and cognitive function, and some of the methods with which this relationship has been studied.

Methods. We consider the challenges involved, in particular operationalization of the health construct and causal inference in the context of observational data. We contrast the approaches taken, and review the questions addressed: whether health and cognition are associated, whether changes in health are associated with changes in cognition, and the degree of interdependency among their respective trajectories.

Results. A variety of approaches for understanding the association between cognition and health in aging individuals have been used. Much of the literature on cognitive change and health has relied on methods that are based at least in part on the reorganization of between-person differences (e.g., cross-lag analysis) rather than relying more fully on analysis of within-person change and joint analysis of individual differences in within-person change in cognition and health.

Discussion. We make the case for focusing on the interdependency between within-person changes in health and cognition and suggest methods that would support this.

Robitaille et al., 2012. Multivariate longitudinal modeling of cognitive aging: Examining associations among change and variation in processing speed and visuospatial ability.

Robitaille, A., Muniz-Terrera, G., Piccinin, A. M., Johansson, B., & Hofer, S. M. (2012). Multivariate longitudinal modeling of cognitive aging: Examining associations among change and variation in processing speed and visuospatial ability. GeroPsych: The Journal of Gerontopsychology and Geriatric Psychiatry, 25, 15-25.

Year: 
2012
Status: 
complete
Presentation Citations: 

Robitaille, A., Piccinin, A.M., Muniz, G., Hoffman, L., Johansson, B., Deeg, D.J., Aartsen, M.J., Comijs, H.C., & Hofer, S.M., (November, 2013). Longitudinal mediation of processing speed on age-related change in memory and fluid intelligence. Poster presented at the 66th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, New Orleans, LA.

Robitaille, A., Muniz, G., Piccinin, A.M., Hofer, S.M. (2011, October). Multivariate longitudinal modeling of cognitive change: Relationship between processing speed and other cognitive outcomes. 40th Annual Scientific and Educational Meeting of the CAG & 4th Pan American Congress of the IAGG, Ottawa, ON.

Robitaille, A., Muniz, G., Piccinin, A.M., Hofer, S.M. (November, 2011). Does Processing Speed Account for Aging-related Change in other Cognitive Functions? In A.M. Piccinin & G. Muniz (Chairs), Advances in Understanding Cognitive Aging: Longitudinal Research on Change, Variation, and Plasticity. Symposium conducted at the 64th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, Boston, MA

Robitaille, A., Muniz, G., Piccinin, A.M., Johansson, B.,&  Hofer, S.M. (February, 2012). Multivariate longitudinal modeling of cognitive change: Relationship between processing speed and visuospatial ability. Poster session submitted to the 2012 SRCD Themed Meeting: Developmental Methodology. Tampa, Florida

Abstract: 

We illustrate the use of the parallel latent growth curve model using data from OCTO-Twin. We found a significant intercept-intercept and slope-slope association between processing speed and visuospatial ability. Within-person correlations among the occasion-specific residuals were significant, suggesting that the occasion-specific fluctuations around individual’s trajectories, after controlling for intraindividual change, are related between both outcomes. Random and fixed effects for visuospatial ability are reduced when we include structural parameters (directional growth curve model) providing information about changes in visuospatial abilities after controlling for processing speed. We recommend this model to researchers interested in the analysis of multivariate longitudinal change, as it permits decomposition and directly interpretable estimates of association among initial levels, rates of change, and occasion-specific variation.

Thorvaldsson et al., 2012. Nonlinear blood pressure effects on cognition in old age: Separating between-person and within-person associations

Thorvaldsson, V., Skoog, I., Hofer, S. M., Börjesson-Hanson, A., Östling, S., Sacuiu, S., & Johansson, B. (2012). Non-linear blood pressure effects on cognition in old age: Separating between-person and within-person associations. Psychology & Aging, 27, 375-383.

Year: 
2012
Status: 
complete
Abstract: 

Midlife hypertension is associated with increased risk of cognitive impairment in later life. The association between blood pressure (BP) in older ages and cognition is less clear. In this study we provide estimates of between-person and within-person associations of BP and cognition in a population-based sample (N = 382) followed from age 70 across 12 occasions over 30 years. Between-person associations refer to how individual differences in BP relates to individual differences in cognition. Within-person associations refer to how individual and time specific changes in BP relate to variation in cognition. Hierarchical linear models were fitted to data from three cognitive measurements (verbal ability, spatial ability, and perceptual speed) while accounting for demographic and health-related covariates. We found consistent nonlinear between-person associations between diastolic BP (DBP) and cognition, such that both low (<75 mmHg) and high (>95 mmHg) pressure were associated with poorer cognition. Within-person decreases in systolic BP (SBP) and DBP were associated with decreases in perceptual speed. Notably, between-person and within-person estimates did not reveal similar associations, suggesting the need to separate the two effects in the analysis of associations between BP and cognition in old age.

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