Date of Award

5-2005

Level of Access

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Michael A. Robbins

Second Committee Member

Merrill F. Elias

Third Committee Member

Alan M. Rosenwasser

Abstract

The goal of the present study was to test the relationships among the classification systems of cognitive impairment, Aging Associated Cognitive Decline (AACD), Age- Associated Memory Lmpairment (AAMI), Age-Related Memory Decline (ARMD), Benign Senescent Forgetfulness (BSF), amnestic Mild Cognitive Lmpairment (MCI), MCI-multiple domains, MCI-single non-memory domain, Malignant Senescent Forgetfulness (MSF), and Vascular Cognitive Irnpainnent (VCI), to test the relationships of predictor variables and covariates with the indices of cognitive impairment in a crosssectional study. The results of the present study found the relationships among most of the classification systems were of relatively weak strength, with the exceptions of the relationships between AACD and amnestic MCI and between AAMI and ARMD, which were of moderate strength (kappa<.50) (Cohen, 1988). The most significant relationships between the variables and the indices of cognitive impairment were between the demographic variables of age, education, and gender with cognitive impairment. Most of the significant relationships of age and education with the indices of cognitive impairment were in the expected directions, with older age and lower levels of education being related to greater chances of being classified with cognitive impairment. All of the significant relationships of gender with the indices of cognitive impairment were in the same directions with males being more likely to be classified with cognitive impairment. Most of the significant relationships between the mood state variables and the indices of cognitive impairment were in the expected directions, with positive emotion variables being related to lower chances of being classified with cognitive impairment and negative emotion variables being related to higher chances of being classified with cognitive impairment, with the exception of positive emotion composite score with MSF. There were very few significant relationships between the CVD risk factor variables with the indices of cognitive impairment. A couple of the significant relationships were quadratic trends between the categories from the seventh report from the Joint National Committee (JNC) on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (Chobanian et al., 2003) and the indices of cognitive impairment, with participants with intermediate JNC Blood Pressure (BP) categories being the least likely to have cognitive impairment. There were many significant relationships of the social activity variables with the indices of cognitive impairment, with many of the significant relationships being that higher levels of the social activity variables were related to lower chances of having cognitive impairment. Perhaps the two most important results of the present study were that the positive emotion variable of trait curiosity was related to lower chances of cognitive impairment and there were quadratic relationships between BP and cognitive impairment. Future studies should address the relationships between positive emotion variables and cognition and the nature of quadratic trends between BP and cognition.

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