Brown et al., 2016. Cognitive activity mediates the association between social activity and cognitive performance: A longitudinal study.

Brown, C. L., Robitaille, A., Zelinski, E. M., Dixon, R. A., Hofer, S. M., & Piccinin, A. M. (2016). Cognitive activity mediates the association between social activity and cognitive performance: A longitudinal study. Psychology and aging, 31(8), 831.
Year: 
2016
Status: 
complete
Abstract: 

Social activity is one aspect of an active lifestyle and some evidence indicates it is related to preserved cognitive function in older adulthood. However, the potential mechanisms underlying this association remain unclear. We investigate 4 potential mediational pathways through which social activity may relate to cognitive performance. A multilevel structural equation modeling approach to mediation was used to investigate whether cognitive activity, physical activity, depressive symptoms, and vascular health conditions mediate the association between social activity and cognitive function in older adults. Using data from the Victoria Longitudinal Study, we tested 4 cognitive outcomes: fluency, episodic memory, reasoning, and vocabulary. Three important findings emerged. First, the association between social activity and all 4 domains of cognitive function was significantly mediated by cognitive activity at the within-person level. Second, we observed a significant indirect effect of social activity on all domains of cognitive function through cognitive activity at the between-person level. Third, we found a within-person indirect relationship of social activity with episodic memory performance through physical activity. For these older adults, engagement in social activities was related to participation in everyday cognitive activities and in turn to better cognitive performance. This pattern is consistent with the interpretation that a lifestyle of social engagement may benefit cognitive performance by providing opportunities or motivation to participate in supportive cognitively stimulating activities. 

Denier et al., 2017. Retirement and Cognition: A Life Course View.

Denier, N., Clouston, S. A., Richards, M., & Hofer, S. M. (2017). Retirement and cognition: A life course view. Advances in life course research, 31, 11-21. DOI: 10.1016/j.alcr.2016.10.004.

Year: 
2017
Status: 
complete
Abstract: 

This study examines the relationship between retirement and cognitive aging. We build on previous research by exploring how different specifications of retirement that reflect diverse pathways out of the labor market, including reason for leaving the pre-retirement job and duration spent in retirement, impact three domains of cognitive functioning. We further assess how early-life factors, including adolescent cognition, and mid-life work experiences, condition these relationships. To do so, we draw on longitudinal data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, a cohort study of Wisconsin high school graduates collected prospectively starting in 1957 until most recently in 2011 when individuals were aged 71. Results indicate that retirement, on average, is associated with improved abstract reasoning, but not with verbal memory or verbal fluency. Yet, when accounting for the reason individuals left their pre-retirement job, those who had retired for health reasons had both lower verbal memory and verbal fluency scores and those who had retired voluntarily or for family reasons had improved abstract memory scores. Together, the results suggest that retirement has an inconsistent effect on cognitive aging across cognitive domains and that the conditions surrounding the retirement decision are important to understanding cognitive functioning at older ages.

Cadar et al., 2017. An International Evaluation of Cognitive Reserve and Memory Changes in Early Old Age in 10 European Countries.

Cadar, D., Robitaille, A., Clouston, S., Hofer, S. M., Piccinin, A. M., & Muniz-Terrera, G. (2017). An international evaluation of cognitive reserve and memory changes in early old age in 10 European countries. Neuroepidemiology, 48(1-2), 9-20.

Year: 
2017
Status: 
complete
Abstract: 

Background: Cognitive reserve was postulated to explain individual differences in susceptibility to ageing, offering apparent protection to those with higher education. We investigated the association between education and change in memory in early old age. 

Methods: Immediate and delayed memory scores from over 10,000 individuals aged 65 years and older, from 10 countries of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, were modeled as a function of time in the study over an 8-year period, fitting independent latent growth models. Education was used as a marker of cognitive reserve and evaluated in association with memory performance and rate of change, while accounting for income, general health, smoking, body mass index, gender, and baseline age. 

Results: In most countries, more educated individuals performed better on both memory tests at baseline, compared to those less educated. However, education was not protective against faster decline, except for in Spain for both immediate and delayed recall (0.007 [SE = 0.003] and 0.006 [SE = 0.002]), and Switzerland for immediate recall (0.006 [SE = 0.003]). Interestingly, highly educated Italian respondents had slightly faster declines in immediate recall (-0.006 [SE = 0.003]). 

Conclusions: We found weak evidence of a protective effect of education on memory change in most European samples, although there was a positive association with memory performance at individuals' baseline assessment.

Bendayan et al., 2017. Hierarchy and Speed of Loss in Physical Functioning: A Comparison Across Older U.S. and English Men and Women.

Bendayan, R., Cooper, R., Wloch, E. G., Hofer, S. M., Piccinin, A. M., & Muniz-Terrera, G. (2016). Hierarchy and speed of loss in physical functioning: A comparison across older US and English men and women. Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biomedical Sciences and Medical Sciences, 72(8), 1117-1122.

Year: 
2017
Status: 
complete
Abstract: 

Background: We aimed to identify the hierarchy of rates of decline in 16 physical functioning measures in U.S. and English samples, using a systematic and integrative coordinated data analysis approach.

Methods: The U.S. sample consisted of 13,612 Health and Retirement Study participants, and the English sample consisted of 5,301 English Longitudinal Study of Ageing participants. Functional loss was ascertained using self-reported difficulties performing 6 activities of daily living and 10 mobility tasks. The variables were standardized, rates of decline were computed, and mean rates of decline were ranked. Mann–Whitney U tests were performed to compare rates of decline between studies.

Results: In both studies, the rates of decline followed a similar pattern; difficulty with eating was the activity that showed the slowest decline and climbing several flights of stairs and stooping, kneeling, or crouching the fastest declines. There were statistical differences in the speed of decline in all 16 measures between countries. American women had steeper declines in 10 of the measures than English women. Similar differences were found between American and English men.

Conclusions: Reporting difficulties climbing several flights of stairs without resting, and stooping, kneeling, or crouching are the first indicators of functional loss reported in both populations.

Graham et al., 2017. Personality predicts mortality risk: An integrative data analysis of 15 international longitudinal studies

Graham, E.K., Rutsohn, J.P., Turiano, N.A., Bendayan, R., Batterham, P.J., Gerstorf, D., Katz, M.J., Reynolds, C.A., Sharp, E.S., Yoneda, T.B., Bastarache, E.D., Elleman, L.G., Zelinski, E.M., Johansson, B., Kuh, D., Barnes, L.L., Bennett, D.A., Deeg, D.J.H., Lipton, R.B., Pedersen, N.L., Piccinin, A.M., Spiro, A. 3rd, Muniz-Terrera, G., Willis, S.L., Schaie, K.W., Roan, C., Herd, P., Hofer, S.M., & Mroczek, D.K. (2017). Personality Predicts Mortality Risk: An Integrative Data Analysis of 15 International Longitudinal Studies.

Year: 
2017
Status: 
complete
Abstract: 

This study examined the Big Five personality traits as predictors of mortality risk, and smoking as a mediator of that association. Replication was built into the fabric of our design: we used a Coordinated Analysis with 15 international datasets, representing 44,094 participants. We found that high neuroticism and low conscientiousness, extraversion, and agreeableness were consistent predictors of mortality across studies. Smoking had a small mediating effect for neuroticism. Country and baseline age explained variation in effects: studies with older baseline age showed a pattern of protective effects (HR < 1.00) for openness, and U.S. studies showed a pattern of protective effects for extraversion. This study demonstrated coordinated analysis as a powerful approach to enhance replicability and reproducibility, especially for aging-related longitudinal research.

Gray et al., 2011. The longitudinal relationship between behaviour and emotional disturbance in young people with intellectual disability and parental mental health.

Gray, K. M., Piccinin, A. M., Hofer, S. M., Mackinnon, A., Bontempo, D. E., Einfeld, S. L., Parmenter, T., & Tonge, B. J. (2011). The longitudinal relationship between behavior and emotional disturbance in young people with intellectual disability and maternal mental health. Research in developmental disabilities, 32(3), 1194-1204.

Year: 
2008
Status: 
complete
Presentation Citations: 

Gray, K.M., Tonge, B., Hofer, S. M., Piccinin, A., Mackinnon, A., Bontempo, D., Einfeld, S., & Parmenter, T. (2008, November). The longitudinal relationship between behaviour and emotional disturbance in young people with intellectual disability and parental mental health. Paper presented at the 43rd conference of the Australian Society for the Study of Intellectual Disability (ASSID), Melbourne, Australia.

Abstract: 

Although elevated rates of parent psychosocial distress have been associated with child behavior and emotional problems, little is known about the nature of this relationship over time. This study followed an epidemiological cohort of children and adolescents over 11 years with 4 waves of data collection. Within this cohort, complete data were available on 238 mothers and their children. Behavior and emotional problems were assessed using the DBC, maternal mental health with the GHQ. Multivariate growth curve modelling was used to evaluate the commonality of individual change patterns. High levels of mental health problems were reported, which were stable over time. Higher scores on the DBC were associated with higher rates of mental health problems. Increases in child social relating problems were associated with increases mental health symptoms, particularly depression and anxiety.

Erten-Lyons et al., 2012. Review of current databases of longitudinal aging studies

Erten-Lyons, D., Sherbakov, L., Piccinin, A. M., Hofer, S. M., Dodge, H., Quinn, J., Woltjer, R., Kramer, P., & Kaye, J. (2012). Review of current databases of longitudinal aging studies. Alzheimer’s & Dementia, 8, 584-589. DOI:10.1016/j.jalz.2011.09.232

Year: 
2012
Status: 
complete
Abstract: 

One of the recommendations of the 2010 Leon Thal Symposium, organized to develop strategies to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, was to build a global database of longitudinal aging studies. Although several databases of longitudinal aging studies exist, none of these are comprehensive or complete. In this article, we review selected databases of longitudinal aging studies. We also make recommendations on future steps to create a comprehensive database. Additionally, we discuss issues related to data harmonization.

    Variables: 

    Hill et al., 2012. Examining Concurrent and Longitudinal Relations Between Personality Traits and Social Well-being in Adulthood

    Hill, P. L., Turiano, N. A., Mroczek, D. K., & Roberts, B. W. (2012). Examining concurrent and longitudinal relations between personality traits and social well-being in adulthood. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 3(6), 698-705.

     

    Year: 
    2012
    Status: 
    complete
    Abstract: 

    Past work has demonstrated that Big Five personality traits both predict relationship success and respond to changes in relationship status. The current study extends this work by examining how developments on the Big Five traits correspond to another important social outcome in adulthood, social well-being. Using the Mid-Life Development in the U.S. longitudinal data sample of adults, the authors examined traits and social well-being at two time points, roughly 9 years apart. Results find support for two primary claims. First, initial levels of social well-being correlated positively with initial standing on extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, and openness. Second, changes in social well-being over time coincided with changes on these traits, in the same directions. Taken together, these findings provide broad support that trait development and social well-being development coincide during adulthood.

    Dodge et al., 2017. Cohort effects in verbal memory function and practice effects: a population-based study.

    Dodge, H. H., Zhu, J., Hughes, T. F., Snitz, B. E., Chang, C. C. H., Jacobsen, E. P., & Ganguli, M. (2017). Cohort effects in verbal memory function and practice effects: a population-based study. International psychogeriatrics, 29(1), 137-148.

    Year: 
    2017
    Status: 
    complete
    Abstract: 

    Background: In many developed countries, cognitive functioning (as measured by neuropsychological tests) appears to be improving over time in the population at large, in parallel with the declining age-specific incidence of dementia. Here, we investigated cohort effects in the age-associated trajectories of verbal memory function in older adults. We sought to determine whether they varied by decade of birth and, if so, whether the change would be explained by increasing educational attainment.

    Methods: Pooling data from two prospective US population-based studies between 1987 and 2015, we identified four birth cohorts born 1902–1911, 1912–1921, 1922–1931, and 1932–1943. Among these cohorts, we compared age-associated trajectories both of performance and of practice effects on immediate and delayed recall of a 10-item Word List. We used mixed effects models, first including birth cohorts and cohort X age interaction terms, and then controlling for education and education X age interaction.

    Results: We observed significant cohort effects in performance (baseline and age-associated trajectories) in both immediate recall and delayed recall, with function improving between the earliest- and latest-born cohorts. For both tests, we also observed cohort effects on practice effects with the highest levels in the latest-born cohorts. Including education in the models did not attenuate these effects.

    Conclusions: In this longitudinal population study, across four decade-long birth cohorts, there were significant improvements in test performance and practice effects in verbal memory tests, not explained by education. Whether this reflects declining disease incidence or other secular trends awaits further investigation.

    Hofer et al., 2005. Short and long-term cognitive change in aging individuals.

    Year: 
    2005
    Status: 
    complete
    Presentation Citations: 

    Hofer, S. M., Hoffman, L., Sliwinski, M. J., & Piccinin, A. M. (2005, October). Short and long-term cognitive change in aging individuals. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Multivariate Experimental Psychology, Lake Tahoe, CA.

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