ERIC Number: ED253814
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Depression and Helplessness-Induced Cognitive Deficits in the Aged.
Kennelly, Kevin J.; And Others
To explore the effects of depression and learned helplessness on cognitive task deficits, 66 community-residing elderly adults were categorized as depressed or nondepressed based on Beck Depression Inventory scores. After a pre-test battery measuring short-term memory and components of crystallized/fluid intelligence, the subjects responded to a word association task, disguised as a test of interpersonal empathy, under response dependent or response independent reinforcement conditions, or were assigned to a no treatment control group. A post-test battery composed of alternate forms was then given. The results indicated that elderly subjects exposed to response dependent reinforcement were less likely to display fatigue, helplessness, and/or depression-induced deficits in verbal-auditory short-term memory (forward and backward digit spans). The results suggest that depression and/or helplessness-inducing conditions may exacerbate what might otherwise be relatively slight fatigue effects in elderly subjects. (Author/LLL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society (37th, San Antonio, TX, November 16-20, 1984).