Objectives.This study investigated how interindividual differences in cognitive function are related to interindividual differences in the motivational trait of need for cognition, cognitive activity levels, and depressive symptomatology in a sample of young-old adults.Method.The sample comprised 333 recent retirees from the Concordia Longitudinal Retirement Project (mean age = 59.06 years at entry into study), assessed at 4 annual time points. Cognitive function was measured at 2 time points with the Montreal Cognitive Assessment. We used structural equation modeling to examine a longitudinal mediation model controlling for age, education, years since retirement, and prior occupation.Results.Need for cognition was positively associated with change in cognitive status 2 years later. Variety of cognitive activities was positively associated with level of cognitive status 1 year later. Depressive symptomatology was negatively associated with level of cognitive status 1 year later.Discussion.Our findings indicate that motivational disposition plays a significant role in enhancing cognitive status in retirees, as do variety of cognitive activities. Additionally, subclinical depressive symptomatology can negatively influence cognitive status in young-old retirees. These results have implications for the design of interventions aimed at maintaining the cognitive health of retirees.

, , , , , ,
doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbs112
Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences

Baer, L.H. (Lawrence H.), Tabri, N, Blair, M. (Mervin), Bye, D. (Dorothea), Li, K.Z.H. (Karen Z. H.), & Pushkar, D. (Dolores). (2013). Longitudinal associations of need for cognition, cognitive activity, and depressive symptomatology with cognitive function in recent retirees. Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 68(5), 655–664. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbs112