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Successful cognitive aging memory, determinants and interventions /

by Valentijn, Susanne Adriana

Abstract (Summary)
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between memory self-efficacy (MSE) and a 6-year follow-up assessment of memory functioning in a sample of Dutch older adults. MSE was assessed by a Dutch abridged version of the Metamemory in Adulthood questionnaire (MIA). The total MSE score predicted memory performance at six years, as measured by the Visual Verbal Learning Task (VVLT). A separate analysis of the different MSE subscales indicated that the MIA Change score was the most salient feature of MSE. An extreme group analysis of the MIA Change score revealed a pattern of performance for those who perceived that their memory was deteriorating, improving less at 6 years across the three trials of the VVLT. 20 Introduction Metamemory is a latent construct that has emerged from the early developmental literature to describe the knowledge, perceptions and beliefs individuals have about their own memory and the systemic function their memory in more general terms (Hultsch, Hertzog, Dixon, & Davidson, 1988). A specific dimension of metamemory that is relevant to everyday memory functioning in old age is Memory Self-Efficacy (MSE), defined as the confidence and/or belief that a person espouses regarding the effectiveness of his or her own memory function in anticipated situations (Cavanaugh, 1996). As an extension of self-efficacy theory, MSE involves efficacy judgments that individuals make about their own memory ability in future situations. Self-efficacy theory posits that efficacy judgments are often based on multiple sources of environmental input, including mastery experiences of previous performance tasks, vicarious observation of a relevant reference group, social persuasion, and physiological information such as arousal or anxiety (Bandura, 1977, 1989; Berry, 1999). With respect to older adults, it could be assumed that low efficacy ratings of successful memory functioning could weaken motivation to engage in memory tasks or undermine performance on a given task. Such behavior could generate substantial anticipatory anxiety, particularly if the memory task is judged as essential for everyday living. In other words, low MSE could be an underlying factor that precipitates avoidance of cognitively challenging situations, or the reliance on inefficient strategies on everyday memory tasks (Berry, 1999). Active engagement in situations that require memory proficiency is an important prerequisite for successful aging. Recent efforts to elucidate the relationship between engagement in cognitively challenging activities and mental functioning have shown that active engagement may serve as a buffer against premature cognitive decline in old age (Coyle, 2003; Hultsch, Hertzog, Small, & Dixon, 1999; Verghese et al., 2003). It is therefore important to examine more focal dimensions of MSE that should be associated not only with how individuals behave based on MSE, but with the possible consequences on performance outcomes. With respect to the linkage between MSE and objective memory performance, previous cross-sectional (Cavanaugh & Poon, 1989; Fisk & 21
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Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:cognitieve training ouderen vaardigheden

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