Gender Differences in Episodic Memory in Later Life: The Mediating Role of Education

TitleGender Differences in Episodic Memory in Later Life: The Mediating Role of Education
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsRobinson, S
Academic DepartmentDepartment of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
DegreeMaster of Science in Public Health
Number of Pages72
UniversityUniversity of South Florida
CityTampa
Keywordsdelayed recall, Dementia, immediate recall, meditation analysis, sociodemographic factors
Abstract

In the United States (U.S.), 14 million individuals aged 65+ are expected to be diagnosed with dementia by 2060, and women are nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed. Low education is a well-established risk factor for dementia and is hypothesized to partly explain the gender differences in late-life cognition. However, few studies have investigated education as a mediator of these gender differences. This study aims to investigate education as a mediator of gender differences in episodic memory using longitudinal data from the U.S. Health and Retirement Study (HRS). I used a sample of 35,721 respondents (20,190 women and 15,531 men) with episodic memory data available between 1998 and 2018 and data on self-reported education (median = 12, interquartile range = 12, 15). Analyses were adjusted for confounders (ethnicity, race, childhood SES, childhood immigration status, and birth year) and effect modification by race, ethnicity, childhood SES, and birth year was assessed. Episodic memory was measured as immediate and delayed recall. Linear and linear mixed-effects models were used to estimate the associations between gender and years of education and years of education and episodic memory. Education was a significant mediator of the association between gender and episodic memory. Race was an effect modifier of the association between gender and years of education, and race, ethnicity, and birth year were effect modifiers of the association between education and episodic memory. All direct and total effects were positive, indicating that women had higher episodic memory scores across all racial and ethnic groups for all birth years, both before and after adjustment for education. The indirect effects were negative in those who identified as
In the United States (U.S.), 14 million individuals aged 65+ are expected to be diagnosed with dementia by 2060, and women are nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed. Low education is a well-established risk factor for dementia and is hypothesized to partly explain the gender differences in late-life cognition. However, few studies have investigated education as a mediator of these gender differences. This study aims to investigate education as a mediator of gender differences in episodic memory using longitudinal data from the U.S. Health and Retirement Study (HRS). I used a sample of 35,721 respondents (20,190 women and 15,531 men) with episodic memory data available between 1998 and 2018 and data on self-reported education (median = 12, interquartile range = 12, 15). Analyses were adjusted for confounders (ethnicity, race, childhood SES, childhood immigration status, and birth year) and effect modification by race, ethnicity, childhood SES, and birth year was assessed. Episodic memory was measured as immediate and delayed recall. Linear and linear mixed-effects models were used to estimate the associations between gender and years of education and years of education and episodic memory. Education was a significant mediator of the association between gender and episodic memory. Race was an effect modifier of the association between gender and years of education, and race, ethnicity, and birth year were effect modifiers of the association between education and episodic memory. All direct and total effects were positive, indicating that women had higher episodic memory scores across all racial and ethnic groups for all birth years, both before and after adjustment for education. The indirect effects were negative in those who identified as

URLhttps://digitalcommons.usf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=11278&context=etd
Citation Key13800