Life Course Trajectories of Later-Life Cognitive Functions: Does Social Engagement in Old Age Matter?

TitleLife Course Trajectories of Later-Life Cognitive Functions: Does Social Engagement in Old Age Matter?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsPark, S, Kwon, E, Lee, H
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume14
Issue4
Date Published2017 Apr 07
ISSN Number1660-4601
KeywordsCognitive Ability, Older Adults, Social Relationships, Trajectories
Abstract

This study identified differential patterns of later-life cognitive function trajectories and examined to what extent life course factors and social engagement are associated with group trajectories. Data came from seven waves of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS 1998-2010; n = 7374; Observations = 41,051). Latent class growth analysis identified cognitive function trajectory groups, and multinomial logistic regression was used to examine the factors associated with group trajectories. Five heterogeneous trajectories were identified: stable high, stable moderate, stable low, high-to-moderate, and moderate-to-low. Findings suggest that, after adjusting for life course factors, individuals who became volunteers were more likely to belong to one of the two least vulnerable trajectories, stable high or high-to-moderate. Our findings suggest that, despite the cumulative life course factors evident in cognitive decline, social engagement in old age may serve as a potential protective resource.

DOI10.3390/ijerph14040393
Alternate JournalInt J Environ Res Public Health
Citation Key9000
PubMed ID28387725