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Dynamic Longitudinal Associations Between Social Support and Cognitive Function: A Prospective Investigation of the Directionality of Associations

Liao, J; Muniz-Terrera, G; Head, J; Brunner, EJ; (2016) Dynamic Longitudinal Associations Between Social Support and Cognitive Function: A Prospective Investigation of the Directionality of Associations. Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 10.1093/geronb/gbw135. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the reciprocity of social support and cognitive function in late life. METHOD: Analyses were based on three parallel repeat measures of social support and cognition from the Whitehall II cohort, providing 10-year follow-up of 6,863 participants (mean age 55.8 years, SD 6.0 at baseline). Alternative hypotheses were evaluated via four bivariate dual change score models: Full coupling model estimated mutual influences of social support and cognition on subsequent changes in each other; social causation model assumed a unidirectional influence from social support onto changes in cognition, while the opposite assumption was tested by health selection model; last, no coupling model suggested independent growth of these two sets of variables. RESULTS: A better cognition at the preceding stage was related to less positive changes in confiding support and less negative changes in practical support. In contrast, influences from social support on subsequent changes in cognition were not detected. DISCUSSION: This empirical study provides some evidence for the health selection mechanism, such that cognition modified changes in social support. The hypothesized neuroprotective effect of social support was not detectable.

Type: Article
Title: Dynamic Longitudinal Associations Between Social Support and Cognitive Function: A Prospective Investigation of the Directionality of Associations
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/geronb/gbw135
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbw135
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Cognitive aging, Longitudinal change, Reciprocal, Social support, Temporality
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1544293
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