Shafonsky et al., 2013. Continuous prospective assessment of health and well-being in aging Canadians using novel electronic portal methodologies

Year: 
2013
Status: 
complete
Presentation Citations: 

Shafonsky, E., Hofer, S. M., Hayashi, A., Votova, K., Hall, C., Piccinin, A. M., Weber, J., & Kelly, A. (September, 2013). Continuous prospective assessment of health and well-being in aging Canadians using novel electronic portal methodologies. Paper presented at UBC Family Medicine Research Conference, Vancouver, BC

Abstract: 
Objective: To report on the development and implementation of novel web-based patient portal methodologies that provide opportunities for prospective measurement of health and well-being.
Variables: 

Hofer et al., 2011. Methodological Issues in Research on Adult Development and Aging

Hofer, S. M., Rast, P., & Piccinin, A. M. (2011). Methodological issues in research on adult development and aging. In S. K. Whitbourne & M. J. Sliwinski (Eds.), Handbook of developmental psychology: Adult development and aging. New York: Wiley-Blackwell.

Year: 
2011
Status: 
complete
Abstract: 

This chapter contains sections titled: Conceptual Issues at the Interface of Theory, Design, and Analysis, Analytic Approaches for Understanding Within‐Person Change and Variation Methodological Applications in Developmental and Aging Research, Integrative Data Analysis: Within‐Person Change in the Context of Cohort, Country, and Culture, Acknowledgments, References.

Brown et al., 2012. Social Activity and Cognitive Functioning Over Time: A Coordinated Analysis of Four Longitudinal Studies

Brown, C.L., Gibbons, L.E., Kennison, R.F., Robitaille, A., Lindwall, M., Mitchell, M., Shirk, S.D., Atri, A., Cimino, C.R., Benitez, A., MacDonald, S.W.S., Zelinski, E., Willis, S.L., Schaie, K.W., Johansson, B., Dixon, R.A., Mungas, D.M., Hofer, S.M. & Piccinin, A.M.  (2012). Social activity and cognitive functioning over time: a coordinated analysis of four longitudinal studies. Journal of Aging Research, vol. 2012, Article ID 287438, 12 pages. doi:10.1155/2012/287438.

Year: 
2012
Status: 
complete
Presentation Citations: 

Brown, C.L., Piccinin, A.M.,  Gibbons, L.E., Robitaille, A., Kennison, R.F., Lindwall, M., Mitchell, M., Shirk, S.D., Atri, A., Benitez, A., MacDonald, S.W.S., Zelinski, E., Willis, S.L., Schaie, K.W., Johansson, B., Dixon, R.A., Mungas, D.M., Cimino, C.R., & Hofer, S.M. (October, 2012). Social activity and maintaining cognitive abilities in aging: Evidence from up to 21 years of longitudinal data from three nations. Poster presented at the 41th Annual Scientific and Educational Meeting of the Canadian Association on Gerontology, Vancouver, BC. 

Abstract: 

Social activity is typically viewed as part of an engaged lifestyle that may help mitigate the deleterious effects of advanced age on cognitive function. As such, social activity has been examined in relation to cognitive abilities later in life. However, longitudinal evidence for this hypothesis thus far remains inconclusive. The current study sought to clarify the relationship between social activity and cognitive function over time using a coordinated data analysis approach across four longitudinal studies. A series of multilevel growth models with social activity included as a covariate is presented. Four domains of cognitive function were assessed: reasoning, memory, fluency, and semantic knowledge. Results suggest that baseline social activity is related to some, but not all, cognitive functions. Baseline social activity levels failed to predict rate of decline in most cognitive abilities. Changes in social activity were not consistently associated with cognitive functioning. Our findings do not provide consistent evidence that changes in social activity correspond to immediate benefits in cognitive functioning, except perhaps for verbal fluency.

Clouston et al., 2014. The Dynamic Relationship Between Physical Function and Cognition in Longitudinal Aging Cohorts

Clouston, S., Brewster, P., Kuh, D., Richards, M., Cooper, R., Hardy, R., Rubin, M., & Hofer, S. M. (2013). The dynamic relationship between physical function and cognition in longitudinal aging cohorts: A systematic review. Epidemiologic Reviews. Published online 2013 January 24.  doi: 10.1093/epirev/mxs004.

Year: 
2013
Status: 
complete
Abstract: 

On average, older people remember less and walk more slowly than do younger persons. Some researchers argue that this is due in part to a common biologic process underlying age-related declines in both physical and cognitive functioning. Only recently have longitudinal data become available for analyzing this claim. We conducted a systematic review of English-language research published between 2000 and 2011 to evaluate the relations between rates of change in physical and cognitive functioning in older cohorts. Physical functioning was assessed using objective measures: walking speed, grip strength, chair rise time, flamingo stand time, and summary measures of physical functioning. Cognition was measured using mental state examinations, fluid cognition, and diagnosis of impairment. Results depended on measurement type: Change in grip strength was more strongly correlated with mental state, while change in walking speed was more strongly correlated with change in fluid cognition. Examining physical and cognitive functioning can help clinicians and researchers to better identify individuals and groups that are aging differently and at different rates. In future research, investigators should consider the importance of identifying different patterns and rates of decline, examine relations between more diverse types of measures, and analyze the order in which age-related declines occur.

Hofer et al., 2011. Foundational Issues of Design and Measurement in Developmental Research

Hofer, S. M., Thorvaldsson, V., & Piccinin, A. M. (2011). Foundational issues of design and measurement in developmental research. In B. Laursen, T. D. Little, & N. Card (Eds.), Handbook of developmental research methods. New York: Guilford Press.

Year: 
2011
Status: 
complete
Abstract: 

In this chapter we discuss a variety of issues concerning designed, measurements, and analysis of data from quasi-experimental studies with thte main aim of identifying and explaining individual differences in developmental processes.

Bontempo et al., 2011, Measurement Issues in the Analysis of Within-Person Change

Bontempo, D. E., Grouzet, F. M. E., & Hofer, S. M. (2011). Measurement issues in the analysis of within-person change. In J. T. Newsom, R. N. Jones, & S. M. Hofer (Eds.), Longitudinal data analysis: A practical guide for researchers in aging, health, and social sciences. New York: Routledge.

Year: 
2011
Status: 
complete
Abstract: 

The study of change rests on the assumption that observed differences in measurements over time reflect true change in the construct being measured. If measurement properties change over time, there is a threat to internal validity, which results in ambiguity in the conclusions about change.

Shanahan & Hofer, 2011. Molecular Genetics, Aging, and Well-being: Sensitive Period, Accumulation, and Pathway Models

Shanahan, M. J., & Hofer, S. M. (2011). Molecular genetics, aging, and well-being: Sensitive period, accumulation, and pathway models. In R. H. Binstock & L. K. George (Eds.), Handbook of Aging and Social Sciences (7th Edition; pp. 135-147). New York: Elsevier.

Year: 
2011
Status: 
complete
Abstract: 

Aging reflects ongoing transactions between context and person across many decades of life. Life course sociology is now central to investigations focused on the dynamic social context of aging, with its distinctive emphasis on long-term patterns in people's statuses, roles, and relationships. Recent advances in the understanding of the genome and its measurement have created new and exciting possibilities for studying the genetic basis of aging-related outcomes. The relationship between context and genetic factors may often be transactional, with influences extending reciprocally among environmental factors and genetic processes. This chapter reviews studies that suggest links between social and molecular processes extending across the phases of life. Very few empirical studies of aging draw upon both the life course and molecular genetics, but there is a rapidly growing number of studies from each perspective that suggest points of intersection. It emphasizes studies of health, broadly defined as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity,” because many gene–environment studies focus on indicators of physical and mental well-being. Despite the growing relevance of molecular genetics to studies of life course sociology and aging, several cautionary points are appropriate. Epigenetic mechanisms could provide insight into vulnerable windows very early in life that then have long-term implications for health and well-being. Behavioral studies of aging that are informed by molecular genetics present exciting challenges to the technical and creative skills of a new generation of scientists.

Variables: 

Muniz-Terrera et al., 2013. Overview of change point models in cognitive ageing research.

Year: 
2013
Status: 
complete
Presentation Citations: 

Muniz-Terrera, G., Piccinin, A.M., & Hofer, S.M. (November, 2013). Overview of change point models in cognitive ageing research. In G. Muniz (Chair), Change-point models in cognitive aging: Overview, applications, limitations and future directions. Paper symposium presented at the 66th annual scientific meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, New Orleans, LA.

Abstract: 

Paper symposium chaired by G. Muniz-Terrera. Change-point models in cognitive aging: Overview, applications, limitations and future directions. Participants: Muniz-Terrera, Hofer, Piccinin, Rast

Hofer, 2013. Do repeated exposures confound the estimation of individual change?

Year: 
2013
Status: 
complete
Presentation Citations: 

Hofer, S. M. (November, 2013). Do repeated exposures confound the estimation of individual change? (Discussant) In A. Gross (Chair), Novel research designs and innovative methods for analysis of retest effects in cognitive aging. Paper symposium presented at the 66th annual scientific meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, New Orleans, LA.

Abstract: 

In A. Gross (Chair), Novel research designs and innovative methods for analysis of retest effects in cognitive aging.

Variables: 

Mitchell et al., 2012. Cognitively Stimulating Activities: Effects on Cognition across Four Studies with up to 21 Years of Longitudinal Data

Mitchell, M., Cimino, C. R., Benitez, A., Brown, C. L., Gibbons, L. E., Kennison, R. F., Shirk, S. D., Atri, A., Robitaille, A., Lindwall, M., MacDonald, S. W. S., Zelinski, E., Willis, S. L., Schaie, K. W., Johansson, B., Dixon, R. A., Mungas, D. M., Hofer, S. M. & Piccinin, A. M. (2012). Cognitively stimulating activities: Effects on cognition across four studies with up to 21 years of longitudinal data. Journal of Aging Research. Article ID 461592, 12 pages, doi:10.1155/2012/461592.

Year: 
2012
Status: 
complete
Abstract: 

Engagement in cognitively stimulating activities has been considered to maintain or strengthen cognitive skills, thereby minimizing age-related cognitive decline. While the idea that there may be a modifiable behavior that could lower risk for cognitive decline is appealing and potentially empowering for older adults, research findings have not consistently supported the beneficial effects of engaging in cognitively stimulating tasks. Using observational studies of naturalistic cognitive activities, we report a series of mixed effects models that include baseline and change in cognitive activity predicting cognitive outcomes over up to 21 years in four longitudinal studies of aging. Consistent evidence was found for cross-sectional relationships between level of cognitive activity and cognitive test performance. Baseline activity at an earlier age did not, however, predict rate of decline later in life, thus not supporting the concept that engaging in cognitive activity at an earlier point in time increases one's ability to mitigate future age-related cognitive decline. In contrast, change in activity was associated with relative change in cognitive performance. Results therefore suggest that change in cognitive activity from one's previous level has at least a transitory association with cognitive performance measured at the same point in time.

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