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Socioeconomic, emotional, and physical execution variables as predictors of cognitive performance in a Spanish sample of middle-aged and older community-dwelling participants

  • Mari Feli González (a1), David Facal (a1), Onésimo Juncos-Rabadán (a1) and Javier Yanguas (a2)



Cognitive performance is not easily predicted, since different variables play an important role in the manifestation of age-related declines. The objective of this study is to analyze the predictors of cognitive performance in a Spanish sample over 50 years from a multidimensional perspective, including socioeconomic, affective, and physical variables. Some of them are well-known predictors of cognition and others are emergent variables in the study of cognition.


The total sample, drawn from the “Longitudinal Study Aging in Spain (ELES)” project, consisted of 832 individuals without signs of cognitive impairment. Cognitive function was measured with tests evaluating episodic and working memory, visuomotor speed, fluency, and naming. Thirteen independent variables were selected as predictors belonging to socioeconomic, emotional, and physical execution areas. Multiple linear regressions, following the enter method, were calculated for each age group in order to study the influence of these variables in cognitive performance.


Education is the variable which best predicts cognitive performance in the 50–59, 60–69, and 70–79 years old groups. In the 80+ group, the best predictor is objective economic status and education does not enter in the model.


Age-related decline can be modified by the influence of educational and socioeconomic variables. In this context, it is relevant to take into account how easy is to modify certain variables, compared to others which depend on each person's life course.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: Mari Feli González, Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology, University of Santiago de Compostela, Rúa Xosé María Suárez Núñez, s/n. Campus vida, Santiago de Compostela, ES 15782, Spain. Phone: +34 881813717; Fax: +34 881813901. Email:


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Socioeconomic, emotional, and physical execution variables as predictors of cognitive performance in a Spanish sample of middle-aged and older community-dwelling participants

  • Mari Feli González (a1), David Facal (a1), Onésimo Juncos-Rabadán (a1) and Javier Yanguas (a2)


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