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Home > Arhiva > 2013 > Numar: 3 > Concerns about Cognitive Functioning, Dementia Worries, and Psychological Well-Being

 Concerns about Cognitive Functioning, Dementia Worries, and Psychological Well-Being

  • Stephen J. Cutler (Professor of Sociology, Emeritus and Emeritus Bishop Robert F. Joyce Distinguished University Professor of Gerontology, University of Vermont, 31 South Prospect Street, Burlington, VT 05405 USA, 18027582025,
  • Lynne G. Hodgson (Department of Sociology, Quinnipiac University, Hamden, CT 06518, E-mail:

Objectives: We seek to determine whether psychological well-being is affected by concerns about cognitive functioning and worries about developing dementia. Methods: We use three waves of data collected in 2000, 2005, and 2011 from two samples of persons ages 40-60 at T1: (1) adult children with a parent diagnosed with probable Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and (2) a matched control group with no parental history of AD. The principal predictor is a summative measure of the number of waves respondents (Rs) scored higher on five indicators of concerns about cognitive functioning and worries about dementia. Outcome measures include the number of waves Rs were higher on depression and stress and lower on life satisfaction and mastery. Results: Based on regression analyses, the cognitive and AD concerns measure was a significant predictor of all psychological well-being outcomes, net of other effects. Neither subsample nor a concerns/subsample interaction term reached significance. Discussion: Over an 11-year period, the more continuous one’s concerns and worries were about cognitive functioning and developing AD, the more likely were such concerns and worries to be detrimental to psychological well-being. These effects held regardless of whether Rs were from families where a parent had been diagnosed with AD or from families with no parental history of AD. That our measure of concerns and worries about cognitive functioning and AD appears to be a strong and robust predictor should alert practitioners and others to this source of threats to psychological well-being.

Keywords: Cognitive functioning, psychological well-being, dementia worries, Alzheimer’s disease