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Home > Arhiva > 2018 > Numar: 1 > Long-Term Influence of Subjective Hearing Assessment on Subjective Memory Functioning: Results from the Health and Retirement Study

 Long-Term Influence of Subjective Hearing Assessment on Subjective Memory Functioning: Results from the Health and Retirement Study

  • Corina Ilinca (University of Bucharest, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, Schitu Măgureanu Street, No. 9, Bucharest, România, E-mail: )
  • Stephen J. Cutler (Department of Sociology, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 050405, E-mail:

Purpose: Recent research demonstrates an association between hearing ability and dementia. Despite these findings, mechanisms underlying the relationship remain unclear. Here we examine one such mechanism: the effect of subjective hearing assessment on subjective memory functioning.

Methods: Data for the study come from the University of Michigan’s Health and Retirement Study. Rs include persons 60 and older at T1 (in 1992) who remained in the study at T11 (2012) (total N = 1,136). Using latent growth curve modeling, we examine the effects of self-rated hearing on self-rated memory at baseline and between their rates of change controlling for age, gender, education, marital status, and subjective health.

Results: Principal findings include the following: (1) there are strong and significant relationships (p<.001) between self-rated hearing and self-rated memory and between their rates of change net of the control variables; (2) the R2s indicate that 44% of the variance in self-rated memory is explained by self-rated hearing and the controls and that 33% of the variance in the rate of change in self-reported memory is explained by the rate of change in self-rated hearing and the controls; (3) goodness of fit tests (CFI and RMSEA) are satisfactory.

Implications: That there is a clear linkage between subjective dimensions of hearing and memory and changes therein suggests the value of pursuing this connection as one mechanism by which hearing problems might lead to dementia. Practical implications for areas such as providing informed consent should also be considered.

Keywords: Memory, Hearing, Longitudinal data, Latent growth curve modelling