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J Aging Health. 2018 Jul 24:898264318784183. doi: 10.1177/0898264318784183. [Epub ahead of print]

Positive Aging Views in the General Population Predict Better Long-Term Cognition for Elders in Eight Countries.

Author information

1
1 Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Much of the literature on aging cognitive health has focused on individual determinants, rather than societal ones; in contrast, this study examined whether country-level age status predicts cognitive performance of older individuals over time.

METHOD:

Eight countries were examined using a novel combination of country-level age status data from the European Social Survey and individual-level data from the Survey on Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe, between 2004 and 2013.

RESULTS:

We found that more positive age status significantly predicted better performance on three cognitive measures over a 10-year period, after adjusting for relevant covariates. The generalized-linear model nested individuals within countries to account for the multilevel data.

DISCUSSION:

To our knowledge, this is the first study to report an association between country-level age status and cognitive performance over time. The results suggest that a small change in the perception of old age at the population level could have a significant effect on the cognitive health of older individuals.

KEYWORDS:

aging; cognition; cross-cultural; culture; longitudinal; social cognition; views of aging

PMID:
30041558
DOI:
10.1177/0898264318784183

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