|Title||Early life adversity, race, and childhood socioeconomic status: intersecting drivers of later life cognition.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2023|
|Authors||Reynolds, A, Greenfield, EA, Williams-Butler, A|
|Journal||Aging Ment Health|
|Keywords||Adverse childhood experiences; intersectionality; life course perspective; minority diminished returns; racism.|
OBJECTIVES: Research on associations between early life adversity (ELA) and later life cognition has yielded mixed results and generally have not considered how broader societal systems of stratification potentially influence associations. The current study addresses this gap by exploring if racialized identity and childhood socioeconomic status (cSES) moderate associations between ELA exposure and later life cognition.
METHODS: Using data from the Health and Retirement Study (Waves 2010-2018), we used growth curve modeling to examine if the confluence of ELA, cSES, and racialized identity is associated with cognition.
RESULTS: Among White participants, greater exposure to ELA was associated with poorer baseline cognitive functioning, and higher cSES buffered against this association. Among Black participants, exposure to ELA was not associated with baseline cognitive functioning, regardless of cSES. We did not find evidence of any associations between main predictors nor their interactions with change in cognition over time.
CONCLUSIONS: This study provides evidence that associations between ELA and later life cognition is contingent upon multiple social positions in the United States. These findings support the importance of integrating insights on intersecting social positions within life-course-oriented efforts to reduce racialized cognitive disparities.