Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Effects of between-person differences and within-person changes in symptoms of anxiety and depression on older age cognitive performance

  • E. J. Laukka (a1), D. Dykiert (a2) (a3), M. Allerhand (a2), J. M. Starr (a2) (a4) and I. J. Deary (a2) (a3)...

Abstract

Background

Anxiety and depression are both important correlates of cognitive function. However, longitudinal studies investigating how they covary with cognition within the same individual are scarce. We aimed to simultaneously estimate associations of between-person differences and within-person variability in anxiety and depression with cognitive performance in a sample of non-demented older people.

Methods

Participants in the Lothian Birth Cohort 1921 study, a population-based narrow-age sample (mean age at wave 1 = 79 years, n = 535), were examined on five occasions across 13 years. Anxiety and depression were measured with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and cognitive performance was assessed with tests of reasoning, logical memory, and letter fluency. Data were analyzed using two-level linear mixed-effects models with within-person centering.

Results

Divergent patterns were observed for anxiety and depression. For anxiety, between-person differences were more influential; people who scored higher on HADS anxiety relative to other same-aged individuals demonstrated poorer cognitive performance on average. For depression, on the other hand, time-varying within-person differences were more important; scoring higher than usual on HADS depression was associated with poorer cognitive performance relative to the average level for that participant. Adjusting for gender, childhood mental ability, emotional stability, and disease burden attenuated these associations.

Conclusions

The results from this study highlight the importance of addressing both between- and within-person effects of negative mood and suggest that anxiety and depression affect cognitive function in different ways. The current findings have implications for assessment and treatment of older age cognitive deficits.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Effects of between-person differences and within-person changes in symptoms of anxiety and depression on older age cognitive performance
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Effects of between-person differences and within-person changes in symptoms of anxiety and depression on older age cognitive performance
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Effects of between-person differences and within-person changes in symptoms of anxiety and depression on older age cognitive performance
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: E. J. Laukka, E-mail: Erika.Jonsson.Laukka@ki.se

References

Hide All
Allerhand, M, Gale, CR, Deary, IJ (2014) The dynamic relationship between cognitive function and positive wellbeing in older people: a prospective study using the English Longitudinal Study of Aging. Psychology and Aging 29, 306318.
Beaudreau, SA, O'Hara, R (2009) The association of anxiety and depressive symptoms with cognitive performance in community-dwelling older adults. Psychology and Aging 24, 507512.
Bielak, A, Gerstorf, D, Kiely, KM, Anstey, KJ, Luszcz, M (2011) Depressive symptoms predict decline in perceptual speed in older adulthood. Psychology and Aging 26, 576583.
Bierman, EJ, Comijs, HC, Jonker, C, Beekman, AT (2005) Effects of anxiety versus depression on cognition in later life. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 13, 686693.
Bierman, EJ, Comijs, HC, Rijmen, F, Jonker, C, Beekman, AT (2008) Anxiety symptoms and cognitive performance in later life: results from the longitudinal aging study Amsterdam. Aging and Mental Health 12, 517523.
Bjelland, I, Dahl, AA, Haug, TT, Neckelmann, D (2002) The validity of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale: an updated review. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 52, 6677.
Brailean, A, Aartsen, MJ, Muniz-Terrera, G, Prince, M, Prina, AM, Comijs, HC, Huisman, M, Beekman, A (2017) Longitudinal associations between late-life depression dimensions and cognitive functioning: a cross-domain latent growth curve analysis. Psychological Medicine 47, 690702.
Brose, A, Lövdén, M, Schmiedek, F (2014) Daily fluctuations in positive affect positively co-vary with working memory performance. Emotion 14, 16.
Brose, A, Scheibe, S, Schmiedek, F (2013) Life context make a difference: emotional stability in younger and older adults. Psychology and Aging 28, 148159.
Brose, A, Schmiedek, F, Lövdén, M, Lindenberger, U (2012) Daily variability in working memory is coupled with negative affect: the role of attention and motivation. Emotion 12, 605617.
Brose, A, Schmiedek, F, Lövdén, M, Molenaar, PCM, Lindenberger, U (2010) Adult age differences in covariation of motivation and working memory performance: contrasting between-person and within-person findings. Research in Human Development 7, 6178.
Bunce, D, Batterham, PJ, Mackinnon, AJ, Christensen, H (2012) Depression, anxiety, and cognition in community-dwelling adults aged 70 years and over. Journal of Psychiatric Research 46, 16621666.
Byers, AL, Yaffe, K (2011) Depression and risk of developing dementia. Nature Reviews. Neurology 7, 323331.
Chui, H, Gerstorf, D, Hoppmann, CA, Luszcz, MA (2015) Trajectories of depressive symptoms in old age: integrating age-, pathology-, and mortality-related changes. Psychology and Aging 30, 940951.
Curran, PJ, Bauer, DJ (2011) The disaggregation of within-person and between-person effects in longitudinal models of change. Annual Review of Psychology 62, 583619.
Deary, IJ, Brett, CE (2015) Predicting and retrodicting intelligence between childhood and old age in the 6-day sample of the Scottish Mental Survey 1947. Intelligence 50, 19.
Deary, IJ, Gow, AJ, Pattie, A, Starr, JM (2012) Cohort profile: the Lothian Birth Cohorts of 1921 and 1936. International Journal of Epidemiology 41, 15761584.
Deary, IJ, Pattie, A, Starr, JM (2013) The stability of intelligence from age 11 to 90 years: the Lothian Birth Cohort of 1921. Psychological Science 24, 23612368.
Deary, IJ, Whiteman, MC, Starr, JM, Whalley, LJ, Fox, HC (2004) The impact of childhood intelligence on later life: following up the Scottish Mental Surveys of 1932 and 1947. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 86, 130147.
de Bruijn, RF, Direk, N, Mirza, SS, Hofman, A, Koudstaal, PJ, Tiemeier, H, Ikram, A (2014) Anxiety is not associated with the risk of dementia or cognitive decline: the Rotterdam Study. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 22, 13821390.
de Frias, CM, Lövdén, M, Lindenberger, U, Nilsson, LG (2007) Revisiting the dedifferentiation hypothesis with longitudinal multi-cohort data. Intelligence 35, 381392.
Dotson, VM, Resnick, SM, Zonderman, AB (2008) Differential association of concurrent, baseline, and average depressive symptoms with cognitive decline in older adults. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 16, 318330.
Duman, RS, Heninger, GR, Nestler, EJ (1997) A molecular and cellular theory of depression. Archives of General Psychiatry 54, 597606.
Dzierzewski, JM, Potter, GG, Jones, RN, Rostant, OS, Ayotte, B, Yang, FM, Sachs, BC, Feldman, BJ, Steffens, DC (2015) Cognitive functioning throughout the treatment history of clinical late-life depression. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 30, 10761084.
Eysenck, MW, Calvo, MG (1992) Anxiety and performance: the processing efficiency theory. Cognition and Emotion 6, 409434.
Folstein, MF, Folstein, SE, McHugh, PR (1975) Mini-mental state. A practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician. Journal of Psychiatric Research 12, 189198.
Freiheit, EA, Hogan, DB, Eliasziw, M, Patten, SB, Demchuk, AM, Faris, P, Anderson, T, Galbraith, D, Parboosingh, JS, Ghali, WA, Knudtson, M, Maxwell, CJ (2012) A dynamic view of depressive symptoms and neurocognitive change among patients with coronary heart disease. Archives of General Psychiatry 69, 244255.
Goldberg, L (1992) The development of markers for the Big-Five factor structure. Psychological Assessment 4, 2642.
Gow, AJ, Whiteman, MC, Pattie, A, Deary, IJ (2005) Goldberg's IPIP Big-Five factor markers: internal consistency and concurrent validation in Scotland. Personality and Individual Differences 39, 317329.
Han, L, McCusker, J, Abrahamowicz, M, Cole, M, Capek, R (2006) The temporal relationship between depression symptoms and cognitive functioning in older medical patients – prospective or concurrent? Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences 61A, 13191323.
Hoffman, L, Stawski, RS (2009) Persons as contexts: evaluating between-person and within-person effects in longitudinal analysis. Research in Human Development 6, 97120.
Johnson, W, Corley, J, Starr, JM, Deary, IJ (2011) Psychological and physical health at age 70 in the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936: links with early life IQ, SES, and current cognitive function and neighborhood environment. Health Psychology 30, 111.
Johnson, W, McGue, M, Gaist, D, Vaupel, JW, Christensen, K (2002) Frequency and heritability of depression symptomatology in the second half of life: evidence from Danish twins over 45. Psychological Medicine 32, 11751185.
Köhler, S, Thomas, AJ, Barnett, NA, O'Brien, JT (2010) The pattern and course of cognitive impairment in late-life depression. Psychological Medicine 40, 591602.
Lee, LO, Gatz, M, Pedersen, NL, Prescott, CA (2016) Anxiety trajectories in the second half of life: genetic and environmental contributions over age. Psychology and Aging 31, 101113.
Lezak, M (2004) Neuropsychological Testing. Oxford University Press: Oxford, UK.
Nesselroade, JR, Salthouse, TA (2004) Methodological and theoretical implications of intraindividual variability in perceptual-motor performance. Journal of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological and Social Sciences 59B, 4955.
Nivard, MG, Dolan, CV, Kendler, KS, Kan, KJ, Willemsen, G, van Beijsterveldt, CE, Lindauer, RJ, van Beek, JH, Geels, LM, Bartels, M, Middeldorp, CM, Boomsma, DI (2015) Stability in symptoms of anxiety and depression as a function of genotype and environment: a longitudinal twin study from ages 3 to 63 years. Psychological Medicine 45, 10391049.
Pantzar, A, Laukka, EJ, Atti, AR, Fastbom, J, Fratiglioni, L, Bäckman, L (2014) Cognitive deficits in unipolar old-age depression: a population-based study. Psychological Medicine 44, 937947.
Raven, JC, Court, JH, Raven, J (1977) Manual for Raven's Progressive Matrices and Vocabulary Scales. HK Lewis: London, UK.
Rosenström, T, Jokela, M, Hintsanen, M, Pulkki-Råback, L, Hutri-Kähönen, N, Keltikangas-Järvinen, L (2013) Longitudinal course of depressive symptoms in adulthood: linear stochastic differential equation modeling. Psychological Medicine 43, 933944.
Scottish Council for Research in Education (1933) The Intelligence of Scottish Children: A National Survey of an Age-group. University of London Press: London, UK.
Seibert, PE, Ellis, HC (1991) Irrelevant thoughts, emotional mood states, and cognitive task performance. Memory & Cognition 19, 507513.
Sliwinski, MJ, Smyth, JM, Hofer, SM, Stawski, RS (2006) Intraindividual coupling of daily stress and cognition. Psychology and Aging 21, 545557.
Small, BJ, Dixon, RA, McArdle, JJ (2011) Tracking cognition-health changes from 55 to 95 years of age. The Journal of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 66B, i153i161.
Thorvaldsson, V, Skoog, I, Hofer, SM, Börjesson-Hanson, A, Östling, S, Sacuiu, S, Johansson, B (2012) Nonlinear blood pressure effects on cognition in old age: separating between-person and within-person associations. Psychology and Aging 27, 375383.
van den Kommer, TN, Comijs, HC, Aartsen, MJ, Huisman, M, Deeg, DJ, Beekman, AT (2013) Depression and cognition: How do they interrelate in old age? American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 21, 398410.
Watson, D, Clark, LA (1984) Negative affectivity: the disposition to experience aversive emotional states. Psychological Bulletin 96, 465490.
Wechsler, D (1987) Wechsler Memory Scale – Revised. Psychological Corporation: New York, NY.
Wetherell, JL, Gatz, M, Pedersen, NL (2001) A longitudinal analysis of anxiety and depressive symptoms. Psychology and Aging 16, 187195.
Zigmond, AS, Snaith, RP (1983) The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavia 67, 361370.

Keywords

Type Description Title
WORD
Supplementary materials

Laukka et al. supplementary material
Table S1

 Word (15 KB)
15 KB
WORD
Supplementary materials

Laukka et al. supplementary material
Tables S2-S4

 Word (28 KB)
28 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed