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ERIC Number: EJ1115989
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Oct
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Little Relation of Adult Age with Cognition after Controlling General Influences
Salthouse, Timothy A.
Developmental Psychology, v52 n10 p1545-1554 Oct 2016
Both general (i.e., shared across different cognitive measures) and specific (i.e., unique to particular cognitive measures) influences can be postulated to contribute to the relations between adult age and measures of cognitive functioning. Estimates of general and specific influences on measures of memory, speed, reasoning, and spatial visualization were derived in cross-sectional (N = 5,014) and 3-occasion longitudinal (N = 1,353) data in adults between 18 and 99 years of age. Increased age was negatively associated with estimates of general influences on cognitive functioning in both the cross-sectional differences and the longitudinal changes. Furthermore, after statistically controlling general influences, the relations of age on the cognitive measures were much smaller than were those in the original measures. Results from these and other analytical procedures converge on the conclusion that adult age appears to have weak relations with specific measures of cognitive functioning, defined as independent of influences shared across different types of cognitive measures, and that this is true in both cross-sectional and longitudinal comparisons. An implication of these findings is that general, as well as domain-specific, influences should be considered when attempting to explain the relations of age on cognitive functioning.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute on Aging (DHHS/NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Differential Aptitude Test; Raven Advanced Progressive Matrices
Grant or Contract Numbers: R37AG024270