Childhood Living Conditions, Socioeconomic Position in Adulthood, and Cognition in Later Life: Exploring the Associations
2009 (English)In: The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences, ISSN 1079-5014, E-ISSN 1758-5368, Vol. 64, no 6, 750-757 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Objectives This study examined the association between childhood living conditions, socioeconomic position in adulthood, and cognition in later life. Two questions were addressed: Is there an association between childhood living conditions and late-life cognition, and if so, is the association modified or mediated by adult socioeconomic position?
Methods Nationally representative data of the Swedish population aged 77 years and older were obtained from the 1992 and 2002 Swedish Panel Study of Living Conditions of the Oldest Old (SWEOLD). Cognition was assessed with an abbreviated version of the Mini-Mental State Examination scale. Childhood living conditions were assessed by self-reports of childhood living conditions.
Results The results showed independent associations between conflicts in the household during childhood, father's social class, education, own social class in adulthood, and cognition in later life. Exposure to conflicts during childhood, having a father classified as a manual worker, low education, and/or being classified as a manual worker in adulthood was associated with lower levels of cognition in old age. There seemed to be no modifying effect of adult socioeconomic position on the association between childhood conditions and cognition in later life.
Discussion This suggests the importance of childhood living conditions in maintaining cognitive function even in late life.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 64, no 6, 750-757 p.
Childhood conditions, Cognition, Life course, Old age, Socioeconomic position
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-27629DOI: 10.1093/geronb/gbp029ISI: 000271718200009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-27629DiVA: diva2:216601