Sense of Purpose in Life and Beliefs and Knowledge of Alzheimer's Disease.

TitleSense of Purpose in Life and Beliefs and Knowledge of Alzheimer's Disease.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsSutin, AR, Stephan, Y, Luchetti, M, Aschwanden, D, Sesker, AA, Zhu, X, Terracciano, A
JournalArch Clin Neuropsychol
Date Published2023 Feb 04
ISSN Number1873-5843
KeywordsAlzheimer's disease, beliefs, Knowledge

OBJECTIVE: A sense of purpose in life is associated with healthier cognitive outcomes, including lower risk of Alzheimer's Disease (ad). The present research examines whether purpose is also associated with beliefs and knowledge of ad.

METHOD: A random subsample (N = 1,187) of community-dwelling participants from the Health and Retirement Study completed a module on self-reported beliefs and knowledge of ad.

RESULTS: Purpose in life was associated with lower perceived threat of ad and greater belief that modifiable factors (e.g., physical activity) decrease risk. Associations were not moderated by experience with ad or depressive symptoms. Purpose was unrelated to beliefs that genetics or stress increase risk or knowledge of ad.

CONCLUSIONS: Individuals with a sense of purpose are less concerned about risk of developing ad and believe modifiable factors reduce risk. These beliefs may support engagement in behaviors that reduce risk and be one psychological pathway through which purpose protects against ad.

Citation Key13139
PubMed ID36744681
Grant List / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01AG074573 / NH / NIH HHS / United States