With an increasingly aging population, more work is needed to identify factors which may promote the maintenance of normal cognitive functioning. The current study tested the concurrent association between sense of purpose in life and the cognitive variables of episodic memory, executive functioning, and composite cognitive functioning in adults (N = 3489, Mage = 56.3 years, SD = 12.27, Range = 32–84 years) from the Midlife in the United States study (MIDUS). Correlational analyses suggested that purpose in life was associated with higher scores for memory, executive functioning, and overall cognition. Bootstrapping tests of moderation found no evidence for a moderating effect of age on purpose and the cognitive variables. Future studies should attempt to explain the mechanisms behind this relationship and explore the potential for interventions to promote healthy cognitive and purposeful aging.

Additional Metadata
Keywords adulthood, cognitive functioning, episodic memory, executive function, Purpose in life
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1080/13825585.2016.1251549
Journal Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition
Lewis, N.A. (Nathan A.), Turiano, N.A. (Nicholas A.), Payne, B.R. (Brennan R.), & Hill, P.L. (2016). Purpose in life and cognitive functioning in adulthood. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, 1–10. doi:10.1080/13825585.2016.1251549