Long-term and short-term predictors of worries about getting Alzheimer's disease

TitleLong-term and short-term predictors of worries about getting Alzheimer's disease
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsCutler, SJ, Bragaru, C
JournalEuropean Journal of Ageing
KeywordsHealth Conditions and Status, Methodology

Cumulative stresses associated with concerns about cognitive functioning and worries about developing Alzheimer's disease (AD) have been shown to be related to poorer health and lower psychological well-being. Among older persons, AD also generates higher levels of fear than any other disease. But much remains to be learned about predictors of worries and fears, especially from a temporal perspective. Thus, the principal objective of the current research is to examine long-term effects of self-perceptions of cognitive functioning on worries about developing AD. Data for the study are drawn from the University of Michigan's Health and Retirement Study. We use up to ten measurements of self-perceived cognitive functioning collected from 1992 to 2010 for respondents 50 years of age and older at the time of their entrance into the study. Demographics (marital status, age, education, and gender); beliefs about the role of genetics, personal knowledge of someone with AD, and their interaction; and depression and health are other variables included in the model. The data are analyzed using the full information maximum likelihood procedure and latent growth curve modeling to account for the long-term effects. The analysis shows evidence of both short-term effects of depression, age, beliefs, and the interaction of beliefs and personal familiarity and long-term effects of cognitive self-assessment on worries about getting AD. Further analyses of these relationships and inclusion of these items in other studies are recommended.

Endnote Keywords

dementia/Alzheimers disease/health status/Memory functioning/depression/cognitive decline/Methodology

Endnote ID


Citation Key8273