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Effects of Perceived Long-Term Stress on Subjective and Objective Aspects of Memory and Cognitive Functioning in a Middle-Aged Population-Based Sample
Umeå universitet.
Umeå universitet.
Umeå universitet.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2013 (English)In: The Journal of Genetic Psychology, ISSN 0022-1325, Vol. 174, no 1, 25-41 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The longitudinal effects of perceived stress on measures of memory and two other cognitive functions (word fluency, visuospatial ability) in a middle-aged sample (40–60 years, M age = 47.1 years, SD = 6.1 years; n = 192) were examined. A group describing themselves as stressed in general at baseline, and at follow-up measurement 5 and 10 years later (n = 96) was compared with a matched (age, sex) low-stress group (n = 96). The results revealed more depressive symptoms over time in the high-stress group. With regard to memory, a dissociation between subjective and objective measures was observed. Specifically, participants in the high-stress group rated their memory as worse over time as compared with controls, and reported a higher frequency of occurrence of everyday memory failures, effects partly independent of depressive symptoms. However, the groups did not differ in terms of objective episodic memory performance, word fluency or block design performance, with stable levels of performance over time regardless of perceived stress. The lack of effects of stress on cognitive performance is discussed in the light of factors such as stress level, age of the participants, and other individual difference factors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2013. Vol. 174, no 1, 25-41 p.
Keyword [en]
longitudinal, middle age, memory, stress
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-85811DOI: 10.1080/00221325.2011.635725ISI: 000312453800002OAI: diva2:584958
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2013-01-09 Created: 2013-01-09 Last updated: 2013-01-28Bibliographically approved

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Nilsson, Lars-Göran
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