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To expand on prior literature by examining how various education parameters (performance-based reading literacy, years of education, and self-rated quality of education) relate to a cognitive screening measure's total and subscale scores of specific cognitive abilities.
Black adults (age range: 55–86) were administered self-rated items years of education and quality of education, and a measure of performance-based reading literacy. The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) was used to screen for overall cognitive functioning as well as performance on specific cognitive abilities.
Sixty-nine percent of the sample had reading grade levels that were less than their reported years of education. Lower years of education and worse reading literacy are associated with poorer MMSE performance, particularly on the attention and calculation subscales.
Years of education, a commonly used measure for education, may not be reflective of Black adults’ educational experiences/qualities. Thus, it is important to account for the unique educational experiences of adults that could influence their MMSE performance. Incorporating quality and quantity of education will provide a more comprehensive understanding of the individual's performance on cognitive measures, specifically as it relates to sociocultural differences.
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