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The effects of marital status on episodic and semantic memory in healthy middle-aged and old individuals
Örebro universitet.
Örebro univeristet.
Umeå universitet.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2012 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0036-5564, E-ISSN 1467-9450, Vol. 53, no 1, 1-8 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The present study examined the influences of marital status on different episodic and semantic memory tasks. A total of 1882 adult men and women participated in a longitudinal project (Betula) on memory, health and aging. The participants were grouped into two age cohorts, 35–60 and 65–85, and studied over a period of 5 years. Episodic memory tasks concerned recognition and recall, whereas semantic memory tasks concerned knowledge and fluency. The results showed, after controlling for education, some diseases, chronological age and leisure activity as covariates, that there were significant differences between married and single individuals in episodic memory, but not in semantic memory. Married people showed significantly better memory performances than singles in both subsystems of episodic memory, that is, recall and recognition. Also, the rate of decline in episodic memory was significantly larger for singles and widowed than other groups over the 5-year time period in both age groups. The findings demonstrate that the positive relation found between marriage and health can be extended to the relation between marriage and cognitive performance. This effect might be explained by the role played by cognitive stimulation in memory and cognition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2012. Vol. 53, no 1, 1-8 p.
Keyword [en]
marital status, age, episodic memory, semantic memory
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-74226DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9450.2011.00926.xISI: 000298949400001OAI: diva2:507258
The Betula Study is funded by the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation (1988-0082:17), Swedish Council for Planning and Coordination of Research (D1988-0092, D1989- 0115, D1990-0074, D1991 0258, D1992-0143, D1997-0756, D1997- 1841, D1999-0739, B1999-474), Swedish Council for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences (F377/1988-2000), the Swedish Council for Social Research (1988-1990: 88-0082, 311/1991-2000), and the Swedish Research Council (2001-6654, 2002-3794 and 2003-3883).Available from: 2012-03-02 Created: 2012-03-02 Last updated: 2012-05-31Bibliographically approved

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Nilsson, Lars-Göran
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ReferencesLink to record
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