Subjective Age and Changes in Memory in Older Adults

TitleSubjective Age and Changes in Memory in Older Adults
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsStephan, Y, Sutin, AR, Caudroit, J, Terracciano, A
JournalThe Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Start Page675
KeywordsExpectations, Health Conditions and Status

Objective. The subjective experience of aging, indexed by how old or young an individual feels, has been related to well-being and health-related outcomes among older adults. The present study examined whether subjective age is associated with memory level and changes, as indexed by measures of immediate and delayed recall. A complementary purpose was to test the mediating role of depressive symptoms and physical activity in the relation between subjective age and memory changes. Method. Participants were drawn from three waves of the Health and Retirement Study. Subjective age, baseline memory measures, and covariates were assessed during the 2008 wave (N = 5809), depressive symptoms and physical activity were assessed again in the 2010 wave, and the follow-up memory measures were assessed in the 2012 wave. Results. Regression analyses that included demographic, metabolic, and vascular covariates revealed that a younger subjective age at baseline was associated with better concurrent performance and with slower decline in immediate and delayed recall. Bootstrap procedures indicated that fewer depressive symptoms mediated these associations. Additional analyses revealed that memory level and change were unrelated to changes in subjective age. Conclusion. Beyond chronological age, the subjective experience of age is associated with cognitive aging.

Endnote Keywords

depression/Depressive Symptoms/memory/physical activity/subjective age/Cognition

Endnote ID


Citation Key6445