Do changes in lifestyle engagement moderate cognitive decline in normal aging? Evidence from the victoria longitudinal study

Brent J. Small, Roger A. Dixon, John J. McArdle, Kevin J. Grimm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

87 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Do lifestyle activities buffer normal aging-related declines in cognitive performance? Theemerging literature will benefit from theoretically broader measurement of both lifestyle activities andcognitive performance, and longer-term longitudinal designs complemented with dynamic statisticalanalyses. We examine the temporal ordering of changes in lifestyle activities and changes in cognitiveneuropsychological performance in older adults. Method: We assembled data (n = 952) across a 12-year(5-wave) period from the Victoria Longitudinal Study. Latent change score models were applied toexamine whether (and in which temporal order) changes in physical, social, or cognitive lifestyleactivities were related to changes in three domains of cognitive performance. Results: Two main resultsreflect the dynamic coupling among changes in lifestyle activities and cognition. First, reductions incognitive lifestyle activities were associated with subsequent declines in measures of verbal speed,episodic memory, and semantic memory. Second, poorer cognitive functioning was related to subsequentdecrements in lifestyle engagement, especially in social activities. Conclusions: The results support thedual contention that (a) lifestyle engagement may buffer some of the cognitive changes observed in latelife, and (b) persons who are exhibiting poorer cognitive performance may also relinquish some lifestyleactivities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-155
Number of pages12
JournalNeuropsychology
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Latent change score models
  • Lifestyle activities
  • Longitudinal changes
  • Victoria Longitudinal Study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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