Semester of Graduation

Summer 2024


Master of Arts (MA)



Document Type



Activities of daily living can be simple tasks such as bathing, showering, toileting or as complex as managing finances, driving, and preparing meals. Independence in everyday functioning has been associated with successful aging and declines in functioning may be indicative of pathological cognitive decline. Social determinants of health, like economic status and access to health care, also play a role in everyday functioning. Understanding these factors are of particular importance for older Black adults who have had long-standing disparate access to care, education, and treatments. The current study aimed to evaluate social determinants of health, more specifically social engagement, as moderators of the association between cognition and everyday functioning. A sample of 925 older Black adults from Rush University: The Memory and Aging Project (MAP), Latino CORE Study (CORE), and Minority Adult Research Study (MARS) were used. Participants completed a battery of neuropsychological testing as well as questionnaires about their everyday functioning and social behaviors. Separate hierarchical linear regressions were utilized to determine to what extent social factors moderated the relationship between cognition and everyday functioning. Social factors were independently associated with everyday functioning and moderated the relationship between cognition and functioning. Results from the current study provide a basis for future interventions.



Committee Chair

Matthew Calamia