Exploring the Relationship Between Engagement in Enriching Early-Life Activities During Adolescence and Cognition in Later-Life: Results From the Health and Retirement Study.

TitleExploring the Relationship Between Engagement in Enriching Early-Life Activities During Adolescence and Cognition in Later-Life: Results From the Health and Retirement Study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsCrane, BM, Bandeen-Roche, K, Carlson, MC
JournalResearch on Aging
ISSN Number1552-7573
Keywordsadolescence, cognitive function, early-life enrichment, life course, Lifestyle activities
Abstract

The cognitive benefits associated with mid- to late-life engagement have been demonstrated in several studies. However, the link between engagement in enriching early-life activities (EELAs) during adolescence and later-life cognition has been relatively unexplored in major epidemiological studies. We examined the EELA-cognition relationship in a nationally representative sample of adults aged 50+. A subset of Health and Retirement Study respondents (=3482) completed cognitive tests and returned a retrospective early-life activity inventory. Linear regression models analyzed the EELA-cognition relationship, and multiple imputation addressed missingness. Each additional EELA was associated with a 0.36 point higher cognitive score (95% CI: 0.24, 0.47). This relationship remained significant after adjusting for potential confounders (B=0.16; 95% CI: [0.06, 0.26]). EELA engagement was associated with better later-life cognitive performance. This study is understood to be the first to examine the EELA-cognition relationship using a large, nationally representative dataset. The findings highlight the importance of early-life engagement during an important developmental period (e.g., adolescence).

DOI10.1177/01640275221085660
Citation Key12375
PubMed ID35450491