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Title: Social and behavioural factors associated with cognitive and functional performance in cognitively healthy older adults
Author: Pavlidis, George
ISNI:       0000 0004 7425 7378
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2018
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The current paradigm on cognitive ageing suggests that greater social participation, higher socioeconomic status, as well as more physical and mental exercise, have a positive effect on cognitive decline trajectories with ageing. In turn, favourable cognitive decline trajectories with ageing lead to better outcomes in terms of everyday functioning. Although this paradigm has received significant recognition in research and policymaking, it has been insufficiently examined among cognitively healthy older adults. This research set out to examine explicitly among cognitively healthy older adults, whether higher social participation, higher socioeconomic status, as well as more physical exercise and Internet use have a beneficial effect on cognitive vitality and everyday functioning. Firstly, a meta-analysis of studies that examined the relationship between cognitive performance and everyday functioning among healthy older adults was conducted. Subsequently, the translation and cultural validation of two measures of everyday functioning from English to Greek was carried out. Lastly, a cross-sectional study that examined the relationship between social participation, socioeconomic status, physical exercise, Internet, cognitive performance and everyday functioning was conducted. The findings indicate that cognitive performance and everyday functioning are moderately related in the healthy spectrum of cognitive performance. Furthermore, social participation, education, Internet use and exercise seem to moderate age-related decrements in cognitive performance. These effects seem to be contingent upon certain age groups and subpopulations with specific characteristics. The findings do not support the transferability of cognitive benefits to everyday functioning. It was concluded that social participation, Internet use and exercise might have a significant beneficial effect on at least one domain of cognitive performance (executive function) in older adults with specific characteristics, without resulting necessarily in everyday functioning benefits.
Supervisor: Walker, Alan ; Vivas, Ana Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available