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Predictors of subjective memory in older adults.

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Department of Psychology, Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri 63130, USA.


Memory complaints by healthy older people usually show little relation to objective memory performance. If subjective memory evaluations are not driven by actual memory problems, what is the cause of these complaints? Correlations of an objective measure of memory as well as measures of personality, emotional distress, and health with subjective memory evaluations were examined in 283 community-dwelling people aged 45 to 94 years. Stepwise regression analysis revealed that a combination of personality measures (Conscientiousness, self-esteem, Neuroticism) explained about a third of the variance in memory complaints compared with only 4% unique variance associated with the objective memory measure. Successful interventions for memory concerns in nondemented older people need to be tailored to the individual.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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