Partnership and Cognitive Aging in Europe : Mediating Factors and Social Stratification

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2021
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Leist, Anja K.
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The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences. Oxford University Press (OUP). 2021, 76(6), pp. 1173-1185. ISSN 1079-5014. eISSN 1758-5368. Available under: doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbab020
Zusammenfassung

Objectives
Living in a partnership has been shown to benefit later life health in general and decrease the risk of cognitive impairment. Few studies have, however, examined whether different types of partnership transitions also differ with respect to their impact on cognitive trajectories, and whether financial resources, healthy behaviors, cognitive stimulation, and social integration can explain these differences.

Methods
Data came from six waves of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, which is a representative panel for the population aged 50 years or older, and were collected between 2004 and 2017 in 20 European countries. Our sample includes 215,989 valid person-year observations from 78,984 persons. The mean age at baseline is 64 years, and individuals were observed on average 2.7 times. Cognitive functioning was assessed with measures of immediate and delayed recall on a memory test and verbal fluency. Fixed effects regression models were employed to exploit individual-level variation in partnership and simultaneous cognitive changes.

Results
Partnership status was stable in most respondents (around 90%). Compared to remaining partnered and after controlling for sociodemographic factors, transition to divorce was associated with a steeper decline in immediate and delayed recall. Exploring possible mechanisms, both financial resources and social integration, explained these differences. Additional analyses suggested that effects were mostly driven by individuals with lower education.

Discussion
Partnership transitions remain infrequent events in later life, but our findings indicate that they can induce less favorable cognitive trajectories compared to partnered individuals, particularly for those with lower cognitive reserve.

Zusammenfassung in einer weiteren Sprache
Fachgebiet (DDC)
300 Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie
Schlagwörter
Bereavement, Cognitive functioning, Health outcomes, Life course analysis, Marriage
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Zitieren
ISO 690BERTOGG, Ariane, Anja K. LEIST, 2021. Partnership and Cognitive Aging in Europe : Mediating Factors and Social Stratification. In: The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences. Oxford University Press (OUP). 2021, 76(6), pp. 1173-1185. ISSN 1079-5014. eISSN 1758-5368. Available under: doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbab020
BibTex
@article{Bertogg2021-06-14Partn-54371,
  year={2021},
  doi={10.1093/geronb/gbab020},
  title={Partnership and Cognitive Aging in Europe : Mediating Factors and Social Stratification},
  number={6},
  volume={76},
  issn={1079-5014},
  journal={The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences},
  pages={1173--1185},
  author={Bertogg, Ariane and Leist, Anja K.}
}
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