Spouse's subjective social status predicts older adults' prospective cognitive functioning
Publication in refereed journal


The current study aims to investigate the association between subjective social status (SSS) and prospective cognitive functioning of older adults and their spouses, and to explore the potential mediating roles of health habits and physical activities in this association.

Using the longitudinal data of 512 pairs of community-dwelling older couples aged 65-91 years (M = 72.2 ± 4.6), we tested the effects of SSS in cognitive functioning using an Actor-Partner Interdependence Model. SSS was measured by a self-anchoring social ladder, and cognitive functioning was measured by the Mini-Mental State Examination at baseline and 4-year follow-up. Socioeconomic status (i.e. education) was tested as a moderator, and physical activity (measured by the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly) as well as health habits (i.e. tobacco and alcohol consumption) were included as potential mediators.

A partner effect of SSS was found only in the low-education group, in which the wife's higher level of SSS in the community was associated with the husband's better cognitive functioning in the follow-up. A small proportion of this effect was found to be partially mediated by participation in housework, such that the wife's higher SSS was associated with the husband's increased housework activity, which was related to higher prospective cognitive functioning.

By examining the dyadic effects of SSS with a longitudinal design, our findings extended the understanding on how subjective social status influenced older couples' cognitive health, and provided evidence-based insights for future studies on cognitive health in later life.
著者Zhang F, Fung H, Kwok T
期刊名稱Aging and Mental Health
出版社Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
頁次277 - 285
關鍵詞Subjective social status, cognitive function, older couple, socioeconomic status

上次更新時間 2020-22-11 於 02:08