Title

Personal Control Beliefs and Memory in Aging: Mediation by Health and Lifestyle

Poster Number

15B

Lead Author Major

Psychology

Lead Author Status

Senior

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Carla Strickland-Hughes

Faculty Mentor Email

cstricklandhughes@pacific.edu

Faculty Mentor Department

Psychology

Abstract/Artist Statement

Memory decline in aging is not universal but rather impacted by idiosyncratic factors, e.g., lifestyle. Control beliefs (belief one’s effort matters) might affect memory performance, and other behaviors critical for maintained memory. Higher levels of perceived mastery (global control belief) and physical health moderate age changes in memory (Gerstorf & Infurna, 2013; Robinson & Lachman, 2018), but role of mental health is unclear, as is the role of domain-specific control beliefs about memory. This research extends past work by testing the mediation of personal control beliefs on memory performance of middle-aged and older adults by (1) testing whether the relationship between control beliefs and memory was mediated by mental and physical health in parallel and (2) testing whether the relationship between control beliefs and memory were mediated in series by overall engagement in memory activities and specific mnemonic use. Participants were healthy, community-dwelling middle-aged and older adults (N=121; aged 51-93, M=73.3, SD= 8.32; 79% female; 92% white). Participants completed tests of episodic memory (delayed recall of a word list and learning new face-name pairs) and answered surveys about health (Ware et al., 1995), perceived mastery (Lachman & Weaver, 1998), memory control beliefs (Dixon et al., 1998) overall engagement in memory activities (Strickland-Hughes, 2017), and specific mnemonic use (West et al., 2012). The relationship between perceived mastery and memory was fully mediated by self-reported mental health. Further, a higher level of memory control beliefs was related to greater engagement in memory activities, which in turn was related to greater mnemonic use, and greater mnemonic use related to better memory. Thus, both global and domain-specific control beliefs may shape memory in aging. Further, our beliefs might relate to performance because of their relationship with a variety of personal and behavioral factors We propose cognitive interventions should target changes beliefs, not just techniques.

Location

DeRosa University Center Ballroom

Start Date

27-4-2018 12:30 PM

End Date

27-4-2018 2:30 PM

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Apr 27th, 12:30 PM Apr 27th, 2:30 PM

Personal Control Beliefs and Memory in Aging: Mediation by Health and Lifestyle

DeRosa University Center Ballroom

Memory decline in aging is not universal but rather impacted by idiosyncratic factors, e.g., lifestyle. Control beliefs (belief one’s effort matters) might affect memory performance, and other behaviors critical for maintained memory. Higher levels of perceived mastery (global control belief) and physical health moderate age changes in memory (Gerstorf & Infurna, 2013; Robinson & Lachman, 2018), but role of mental health is unclear, as is the role of domain-specific control beliefs about memory. This research extends past work by testing the mediation of personal control beliefs on memory performance of middle-aged and older adults by (1) testing whether the relationship between control beliefs and memory was mediated by mental and physical health in parallel and (2) testing whether the relationship between control beliefs and memory were mediated in series by overall engagement in memory activities and specific mnemonic use. Participants were healthy, community-dwelling middle-aged and older adults (N=121; aged 51-93, M=73.3, SD= 8.32; 79% female; 92% white). Participants completed tests of episodic memory (delayed recall of a word list and learning new face-name pairs) and answered surveys about health (Ware et al., 1995), perceived mastery (Lachman & Weaver, 1998), memory control beliefs (Dixon et al., 1998) overall engagement in memory activities (Strickland-Hughes, 2017), and specific mnemonic use (West et al., 2012). The relationship between perceived mastery and memory was fully mediated by self-reported mental health. Further, a higher level of memory control beliefs was related to greater engagement in memory activities, which in turn was related to greater mnemonic use, and greater mnemonic use related to better memory. Thus, both global and domain-specific control beliefs may shape memory in aging. Further, our beliefs might relate to performance because of their relationship with a variety of personal and behavioral factors We propose cognitive interventions should target changes beliefs, not just techniques.