Author(s): VonDras DD, Powless MR, Olson AK, Wheeler D, Snudden AL
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Abstract This research explored the differential association of everyday stress with the episodic memory test performances of young, mid-life, and older adults. Participants included 98 community-dwelling adults ranging in age from 19-89 years. Everyday stress was assessed via the Perceived Stress Scale and the Elder Life Stress Inventory. A brief battery of episodic memory tasks was administered which included tests of Logical Memory, Verbal Paired Associates, Digit Symbol Substitution, and Digit Symbol Incidental Learning. Results suggest that everyday hassles and irritations as well as the accumulation of challenging life events may exacerbate age-related decline on episodic memory tests that require greater executive resources and more integrated and elaborative processing. The functional relationship between affective status and risk for dementia is discussed, and consideration of individual differences in everyday stress is suggested so as to allow more sensitive interpretation of episodic memory tests commonly used to discern mild cognitive impairment.
This article was published in Aging Ment Health
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy