ERIC Number: ED263497
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Aug
Differential Ability Decline and Its Remediation in Late Adulthood.
Schaie, K. Warner; Willis, Sherry L.
A major issue concerning adult intellectual development is whether intellectual decline in late adulthood is uniform or ability-specific. Differential patterns of ability decline were analyzed by comparing data on longitudinal age change over the age range from 53 to 81 years from two successive 14-year periods (1956-1970 and 1970-1984). The abilities considered were Verbal Meaning, Spatial Orientation, Inductive Reasoning, Number Skills, and Word Fluency. Subjects (N=229) for whom data were available over the 1970-1984 period were administered a battery of tests and were assigned to five sessions of cognitive training on one target ability (Inductive Reasoning or Spatial Orientation) and practice on the remaining abilities. Two weeks after training, subjects were re-administered the test battery. The data replicated earlier findings that significant age decrement does not begin until age 60. Patterns of decline differed in level by cohort and, for Word Fluency, also in rate of decline. Practice reversed average performance drops from age 53 to 67 on all abilities except Number, and reversed performance drops from age 60 to 74 on Verbal Meaning, Spatial Orientation, and Word Fluency. Cognitive training further reversed the drop on Inductive Reasoning from age 60 to 74, and reversed the drop on Spatial Orientation and Inductive Reasoning from age 67 to 8l. (Author/NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. on Aging (DHHS/NIH), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (93rd, Los Angeles, CA, August 23-27, 1985).