Socioeconomic Differences in Trajectories of Cognitive Functioning and Psychological Distress in Taiwanese Older Adults

Chi Chiao, National Yang Ming University
Li-Jen Weng, National Taiwan University
Amanda Botticello, Kessler Medical Rehabilitation Research and Education Corporation

This study investigates trajectories of cognitive functioning and psychological distress in later life, with a focus on the role of socioeconomic status (SES). Data are from the Taiwan Longitudinal Study on Aging (1993-2007), a nationally representative study of older adults in Taiwan. The outcomes are measured by a brief mental status scale and the Center of Epidemiological Studies-Depression (CES-D) scale, respectively. Preliminary analyses suggest a non-linear trajectory for both cognitive and psychological impairment in later life, with symptoms escalating as individuals age before tapering off over time. Multi-group growth curve modeling will be used to model interindividual differences in intraindividual changes in cognitive functioning and psychological distress, to explore the interrelationship between changes in two outcomes and to assess the influence of SES on these changes. This study will increase our understanding of the development of distress and disability among a growing segment of the Taiwanese population.

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Presented in Poster Session 4