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Engaged lifestyle and episodic memory performance: health as a mediator
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9862-3032
Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Sweden.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Objectives. In this study, we test the roles of two important aspects of engaged lifestyle – marriage and leisure activity – in episodic memory performance. The direct effects of these variables on episodic memory performance and their mediating effects via health were examined.

Methods. A total of 1149 participants were recruited from the Betula longitudinal study on aging, memory, and health. The effects of engaged lifestyle and health on memory were investigated longitudinally to determine whether they could predict memory function in later life. Accordingly, data were taken from three waves at 5-year intervals: marital status and leisure activity from Wave 1 (1993-1995), health from Wave 2 (1998-2000), and episodic memory performance from Wave 3 (2003-2005).

Results. From using structural regression modeling (SRM), it was found that married people showed better memory performance 10 years on than single and widowed people. Further, leisure activity also predicted episodic memory performance 10 years on, but indirectly via health. Conclusion. We conclude that an engaged lifestyle that includes marriage and leisure activity is an important determinant of memory function, and can protect people from memory decline. Although this effect may be direct, the mediating effect of health should also be considered. Theoretically, we discuss whether an engaged lifestyle protects people from memory decline in accordance with cognitive reserve theory, and decreases stress by increasing the availability of social support.

National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-26555OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-26555DiVA, id: diva2:573340
Available from: 2012-11-30 Created: 2012-11-30 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Engaged lifestyle and episodic and semantic memory: longitudinal studies from the betula project
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Engaged lifestyle and episodic and semantic memory: longitudinal studies from the betula project
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation examines whether some aspects of engaged lifestyle, marital status and leisure activity, influence memory performance in adulthood and old age. Direct effects and indirect effects, via health, are investigated. All the studies in the dissertation examine participants in the Betula project, aged 35 to 85 years. Study I investigates whether there are reliable effects of marital status on memory function in a large sample of participants in adulthood and old age. The results demonstrate that marriage has an influence on some specific types of memory functions. They show that there are significant differences between married and single individuals in episodic memory, but not in semantic memory. Also, the extent of decline in episodic memory was found to be significantly larger for singles and widowed individuals than for married people over five years. Study II examines the relationships between different types of social and cognitive activities and episodic and semantic memory. The results show that a unidirectional effect of social activity on episodic memory was detectable on all test occasions. Also, episodic memory predicted change in cognitive activity during all test waves. However, there were no significant effects with regard to semantic memory and leisure activity in either direction. Study III explores longitudinally whetherengaged lifestyle, including marriage and leisure activity, directly affects memory performance, or whether the effect is mediated by health. The overall results demonstrate that marriage predicts episodic memory function directly. Leisure activity can also predict episodic memory performance ten years later, but indirectly via health. An active and engaged lifestyle can protect people against memory decline. The positive impact of engaged lifestyle on memory performance is discussed in terms of cognitive reserve theory, and in relation to the decrease in distress afforded by social support from other people.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet, 2012. p. 76
Series
Örebro Studies in Psychology, ISSN 1651-1328 ; 26
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-26141 (URN)978-91-7668-894-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-11-30, Hörsal L3, Långhuset, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-10-09 Created: 2012-10-09 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Mousavi-Nasab, S. M. HosseinKormi-Nouri, Reza

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