Explaining disparities in cognitive functioning: a test of competing hypotheses.

TitleExplaining disparities in cognitive functioning: a test of competing hypotheses.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsLiew, H-P
JournalLongitudinal and Life Courses Studies: International Journal
ISSN Number1757-9597
KeywordsCognition, Cognitive Dysfunction, ethnicity, Health Status Disparities, Humans, Racial Groups

This study seeks to examine how the trajectories of total cognition scores exhibited by two birth cohorts vary by race/ethnicity, gender and the level of education. The empirical work of this study is be based on the 1998-2014 Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and the HRS Cross-Wave Tracker file. The analysis is limited to individuals with available information on cognitive functioning, sex, race/ethnicity, wave, highest level of education, and the physical comorbidities associated with cognitive functioning (20,985 from the Traditionalist cohort and 11,077 from the Baby Boomer cohort). Growth curve modelling is used to assess the aims of this study. Findings reveal that the cumulative advantage (disadvantage), persistent inequality and age-as-leveller hypotheses explain heterogeneity in total cognition scores for different race/ethnicity-sex groups, race/ethnicity-education and education-sex groups. These findings suggest that the development of an integrated treatment and screening mechanisms for physical comorbidities and cognitive functioning, and for the design of preventive strategies with the purpose of slowing or avoiding cognitive decline and maintaining healthy cognitive function should have a particular focus on females, racial ethnic minorities and those with low education.

Citation Key13737
PubMed ID38174588