The role of anxiety and depressive symptoms in the cognitive functioning of old and young women

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Mary Elizabeth Melton (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Rosemery Nelson-Gray

Abstract: Many studies find age-related differences in cognitive performance. The focus of inquiry in this study is the contextual factors which may influence age-related differences in fluid cognitive performance. Some data suggest that older adults' cognitive performance may be more sensitive to acute anxiety states and that older adults are more likely to experience test anxiety. Similarly, depression may be associated with impaired cognitive performance, especially in older adults. An interaction was predicted, in that anxiety and depression may produce greater cognitive deficits in the elderly as compared to the young. Forty-five community-dwelling older women and forty-six younger women were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions, easy, hard, and control. The hard condition was designed to increase test anxiety while the easy condition was designed to ease test anxiety. Following the condition manipulation, crystallized and fluid cognitive tasks were administered. Initial mood and education were utilized as covariates along with age and condition in a series of analyses of cognitive performance.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1991
Anxiety $x Testing
Anxiety in old age
Depression, Mental
Depression in old age
Cognition $x Age factors
Women $x Psychology

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