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.

Aging, Cognitive function, Depression, Longitudinal change, Montreal Cognitive Assessment, Need for cognition, Retirement
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