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Intraindividual variability in cognitive performance in three groups of older adults: Cross-domain links to physical status and self-perceived affect and beliefs

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 November 2002

ESTHER STRAUSS
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
STUART W.S. MACDONALD
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
MICHAEL HUNTER
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
ALEX MOLL
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
DAVID F. HULTSCH
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Abstract

Intraindividual variability of physical status and affect/beliefs as well as their relations with cognition were examined in 3 groups of older adults: healthy elderly, individuals with a nonneurological health-related disturbance (arthritis) and people with neurological compromise (dementia). The findings showed that greater inconsistency in physical performance was observed in groups characterized by central nervous system dysfunction. By contrast, fluctuations in affect appeared to reflect other more transient sources, such as pain. In general, increased inconsistency in non-cognitive domains was associated with poorer cognitive function. There were cross-domain links between inconsistency in physical functioning and fluctuations in cognitive performance, although the nature of the links depended largely upon the neurological status of the individuals. Considered together, the result indicated that measures of cognitive as well as physical variability are important behavioral markers of neurological integrity. (JINS, 2002, 8, 893–906.)

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2002 The International Neuropsychological Society

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