Race-Discordant School Attendance and Cognitive Function in Later Life.

TitleRace-Discordant School Attendance and Cognitive Function in Later Life.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsCarr, DC, Reynolds, J
JournalResearch on Aging
ISSN Number1552-7573
KeywordsCognitive health, Racial/Ethnic Groups, school segregation

Early schooling plays an important role in shaping cognitive development. This study explored benefits of cognitive functioning in later life related to attending diverse schools in early life. Specifically, we explored the effects of having attended schools composed primarily of different race peers-race discordant schools (RDS)-among Black and White older adults. Using retrospective and prospective data from the Health and Retirement Study, we examined the association between RDS exposure and two measures of cognitive function (working memory, episodic memory) at age 55 and at age 70. We found that RDS exposed Blacks experienced significant benefits in cognitive function at age 55 and at age 70. In general, RDS exposed Whites did not experience cognitive benefits or deficits. Results suggest that exposure to more racially diverse school environments provides potentially beneficial effects for cognitive function, particularly in later phases of the life course.

Citation Key12479
PubMed ID35607792