Memory Self-Efficacy and Beliefs about Memory and Aging in Oldest-Old Adults in the Louisiana Healthy Aging Study (LHAS)

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UNLABELLED: Background/Study Context. Adaptation to normative age-related declines in memory is an important but understudied aspect of successful aging. The purpose of the present study was to shed new light on memory self-efficacy and beliefs about memory and aging as two integral aspects of adult cognition with relevance to successful aging. METHODS: Young (19 to 27 years) and community-dwelling older adults (60 to 94 years) from the Louisiana Healthy Aging Study (LHAS) completed an adapted Memory Functioning Questionnaire (MFQ) which includes a memory self-efficacy subscale, the Memory Controllability Inventory (MCI), and the Aging Concerns Scale (ACS). RESULTS: Nonagenarians' self-reported memory and beliefs about memory and aging were of central interest. We compared their responses to three younger reference groups to examine hypothesized differences in self-reported memory and beliefs about memory and aging in very late life. Results yielded age effects for most of the MFQ and MCI subscales demonstrating more positive subjective views about memory functioning and control over memory for the young adults. Correlation and regression analyses were conducted to isolate factors that may be associated with memory self-efficacy. Age, symptoms of depression, and memory control beliefs accounted for approximately half of the variance in memory self-efficacy ratings. CONCLUSION: These data indicate that although memory self-efficacy may be age sensitive, we detected no differences in subjective views across the three older groups. Implications for cognitive adaptability and successful aging are considered.

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Experimental aging research

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