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Birth Cohort Differences in Cognitive Aging: Secular Trends Over 30 Years in Three Swedish Samples
Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0091-2005
University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1996-3435
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

During the 20th century there has been a successive rise in mean intelligence (i.e. Flynn effect), where later born cohorts tend to outperform earlier born. Flynn effects have been reported regarding numerous cognitive abilities, and over age ranges from infants to 95 year olds. Less is known regarding possible birth cohort differences in rates of cognitive change in old age. We conducted a series of studies with the aim to investigate possible birth cohort differences in both level of cognitive performance and rate of change. We analyzed data from three representative, population based birth cohorts (born 1901-1902, 1906-07, and 1930) drawn from the Gerontological and Geriatric Population Studies in Gothenburg (H70), with measures on the same cognitive tests at the same ages (i.e., 70, 75 and 79 years). The results showed that later born cohorts outperformed earlier born on all cognitive measures (i.e., spatial ability, logical reasoning, verbal ability, perceptual-motor-speed, and long-term recognition memory), but also that later born cohorts declined at a faster rate on three cognitive outcomes (spatial ability, reasoning, and perceptual-motor-speed). Cohort differences in level of cognitive performance were expected and in line with previous studies, but our findings of cohort differences in rate of change are novel. A potential explanation for the cohort differences in rate of cognitive decline relates to differences in the average age of onset of the cognitive decline due to cohort differences in cognitive reserve. Another possible explanation relates to possible cohort differences in selective survival.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
National Category
Gerontology, specialising in Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-40903OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-40903DiVA, id: diva2:1369592
Conference
International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics European Region Congress 2019 (IAGG-ER 2019), Gothenburg, Sweden, May 23-25, 2019
Available from: 2019-11-12 Created: 2019-11-12 Last updated: 2019-12-18Bibliographically approved

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Karlsson, Peter

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf