Academic Commons

Articles

The Role of Education and Intellectual Activity on Cognition

Parisi, Jeanine M.; Rebok, George W.; Xue, Qian-Li; Fried, Linda P.; Seeman, Teresa E.; Tanner, Elizabeth K.; Gruenewald, Tara L.; Frick, Kevin D.; Carlson, Michelle C.

Although educational attainment has been consistently related to cognition in adulthood, the mechanisms are still unclear. Early education, and other social learning experiences, may provide the skills, knowledge, and interest to pursue intellectual challenges across the life course. Therefore, cognition in adulthood might reflect continued engagement with cognitively complex environments. Using baseline data from the Baltimore Experience Corps Trial, multiple mediation models were applied to examine the combined and unique contributions of intellectual, social, physical, creative, and passive lifestyle activities on the relationship between education and cognition. Separate models were tested for each cognitive outcome (i.e., reading ability, processing speed, memory). With the exception of memory tasks, findings suggest that education-cognition relations are partially explained by frequent participation in intellectual activities. The association between education and cognition was not completely eliminated, however, suggesting that other factors may drive these associations.

Files

Also Published In

Title
Journal of Aging Research
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/416132

More About This Work

Academic Units
Epidemiology
Publisher
Hindawi Publishing Corporation
Published Here
September 14, 2015
Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.