Older adults with poor self-rated memory have less depressive symptoms and better memory performance when perceived self-efficacy is high.

TitleOlder adults with poor self-rated memory have less depressive symptoms and better memory performance when perceived self-efficacy is high.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsO'Shea, DM, Dotson, VM, Fieo, RA, Tsapanou, A, Zahodne, LB, Stern, Y
JournalInt J Geriatr Psychiatry
Date Published2016 07
ISSN Number1099-1166
KeywordsAged, Aged, 80 and over, depression, Female, Humans, Male, Memory, Middle Aged, Regression Analysis, Self Efficacy, Surveys and Questionnaires

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether self-efficacy moderates the association between self-rated memory and depressive symptoms in a large sample of older adults. The influence of self-efficacy and depressive symptoms on memory performance was also examined in a subsample of individuals who reported poor memory.

METHODS: Non-demented participants (n = 3766) were selected from the 2012 wave of the Health and Retirement Study. Depressive symptomatology was assessed with the 8-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. A modified version of the Midlife Developmental Inventory Questionnaire was used as the measure of self-efficacy. Participants were asked to rate their memory presently on a five-point scale from Excellent (1) to Poor (5). Immediate memory and delayed memory (after a 5-min interval) were measured by the number of correct words recalled from a 10-item word list.

RESULTS: Multiple regression analyses revealed that negative ratings of memory were significantly associated with greater levels of depressive symptoms, with this effect being greatest in those with low levels of self-efficacy. Additionally, greater self-efficacy was associated with optimal objective memory performances but only when depressive symptoms were low in individuals who reported poor memory function (n = 1196).

CONCLUSION: Self-efficacy moderates the relationship between self-rated memory function and depressive symptoms. Higher self-efficacy may buffer against the impact of subjective memory difficulty on one's mood and thereby mitigating the effect of depressive symptoms on memory. Interventions should focus on increasing perceived self-efficacy in older adults reporting poor memory function to potentially minimize memory impairment.

User Guide Notes


Endnote Keywords

Depressive symptoms
Self-rated memory

Alternate JournalInt J Geriatr Psychiatry
Citation Key8480
PubMed ID26679474
PubMed Central IDPMC5817980
Grant ListP30 AG028740 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG026158 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R56 AG026158 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States