The Effect of Lifecourse Socioeconomic Position and Health on Trajectories of Cognitive Function in Older Adults

TitleThe Effect of Lifecourse Socioeconomic Position and Health on Trajectories of Cognitive Function in Older Adults
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsFaul, JD
Date Published2008
UniversityUniversity of Michigan
KeywordsAdult children, Demographics, Event History/Life Cycle, Health Conditions and Status
Abstract

Recent studies suggest that socioeconomic position (SEP) across the lifecourse may influence health, and more specifically cognitive health, through several pathways. However, few studies examining the effect of SEP on cognition have benefited from the use of longitudinal data and most have been confined to specific subpopulations of older adults or have been limited to restricted geographic areas. This overall goal of this dissertation research was to apply a lifecourse approach to the conceptualization and modeling of the social and economic determinants of cognitive performance, and attempt to further understand the relationship between disadvantage at different life stages and cognitive health in adulthood. This research uses data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a nationally representative, prospective panel study of adults over 50 years of age, to: (1) estimate the effects of education and adulthood socioeconomic position on trajectories of cognitive change, (2) determine whether accumulation of socioeconomic disadvantage and social mobility from childhood to adulthood affects cognitive function, and (3) examine the association between body mass index and cognitive performance and decline in later life. These results support prior work documenting the lasting impact of education on cognition and suggest that measures of lifecourse SEP and adiposity may also be significant predictors of cognitive performance and change in older age.

Endnote Keywords

Education

Endnote ID

18940

Short TitleThe Effect of Lifecourse Socioeconomic Position and Health on Trajectories of Cognitive Function in Older Adults
Citation Key6293