Longitudinal change in language production: Effects of aging and dementia on grammatical complexity and propositional content

Susan Kemper, Marilyn Thompson, Janet Marquis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

145 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mixed modeling was used to examine longitudinal changes in linguistic ability in healthy older adults and older adults with dementia. Language samples, vocabulary scores, and digit span scores were collected annually from healthy older adults and semiannually from older adults with dementia. The language samples were scored for grammatical complexity and propositional content. For the healthy group, age-related declines in grammatical complexity and propositional content were observed. The declines were most rapid in the mid 70s. For the group with dementia, grammatical complexity and propositional content also declined over time, regardless of age. Rates of decline were uniform across individuals. These analyses reveal how both grammatical complexity and propositional content are related to late-life changes in cognition in healthy older adults as well as those with dementia. Alzheimer's disease accelerates this decline, regardless of age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)600-614
Number of pages15
JournalPsychology and aging
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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