Is age kinder to the initially more able?: Yes, and no

Alan J. Gow, Wendy Johnson, Gita Mishra, Marcus Richards, Diana Kuh, Ian J. Deary, HALCyon Study Team

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    17 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Although a number of analyses have addressed whether initial cognitive ability level is associated with age-related cognitive decline, results have been inconsistent. Latent growth curve modeling was applied to two aging cohorts, extending previous analyses with a further wave of data collection, or as a more appropriate analytical methodology than used previously. In the Lothian Birth Cohort 1921, cognitive ability at age 11 was not associated with cognitive change from age 79 to 87, either in general cognitive ability, or in tests of reasoning, memory and executive function. However, data from the MRC National Survey of Health and Development suggested that higher cognitive ability at age 15 predicted less decline between ages 43 and 53 years in a latent cognitive factor from tests of verbal memory and search speed, and in search speed when considered separately. The results are discussed in terms of the differences between the cohorts and the interpretability of the analytical approach. Suggestions are made about when initial ability might be cognitively protective, and study requirements to bring about a clearer resolution. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)49-59
    Number of pages11
    JournalIntelligence
    Volume40
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Keywords

    • NATIONAL BIRTH COHORT
    • LATER LIFE
    • HEALTH
    • CHILDHOOD INTELLIGENCE
    • Latent growth curve modeling
    • Cohort study
    • MENTAL-ABILITY
    • Cognitive aging
    • COGNITIVE DECLINE
    • Longitudinal
    • INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES
    • Prior cognitive ability
    • STABILITY
    • ASSOCIATION
    • NUN

    Cite this

    Gow, A. J., Johnson, W., Mishra, G., Richards, M., Kuh, D., Deary, I. J., & HALCyon Study Team (2012). Is age kinder to the initially more able?: Yes, and no. Intelligence, 40(1), 49-59. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intell.2011.10.007