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Title: Association of positive and negative life events with cognitive performance and psychological status in late life: a cross-sectional study in Northern Portugal
Author: Castanho, T. C.
Santos, N. C.
Meleiro-Neves, C.
Neto, S.
Moura, G. R.
Santos, M.
Cruz, A.R.
Cunha, O.
Castro Rodrigues, A.
Rodrigues, A. J.
Sousa, N.
Keywords: Aging
Life events
Mental health
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Elsevier
Abstract: Objectives: Life events have important effects on psychological well-being. Yet, studies have mainly focused on exploring the impact of traumatic and negative experiences on health and well-being, with positive events receiving marginal attention. In this study, we investigated the association between negative and positive life events, cognitive performance and psychological status in older individuals. Method: A cross-sectional approach with a sample of 97 community-dwelling adults, recruited from a network of 23 centres/institutions in Northern Portugal, and aged between 56 and 85 years, was conducted. All participants were evaluated through a battery of tests assessing for depressive mood, perceived stress, and cognitive functioning. Life events were measured using the Lifetime Experiences Scale (LIFES) which covers 75 life experiences organized in eight domains. Results: A total of 95.9% of the participants reported more positive life events than negative throughout life. Participants reporting more positive experiences had lower scores in the depressive mood and perceived stress measures. At the domain-level of LIFES scale, more negative experiences in the Work and Health domains were associated with a depressed mood and more perceived stress. Significant positive associations were found between positive life experiences and most cognitive measures, after controlling for sex, education, age and depressive symptoms. Namely, more positive experiences at School, Leisure, and Living conditions were positively associated with better performance across cognitive tests. Discussion: This study adds important evidence on the association between of life events, both negative and positive experiences, on cognition and psychological well-being, providing a more balanced view of the field.
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.1016/j.nbas.2021.100020
ISSN: 2589-9589
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