Title page for ETD etd-08112010-134702

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Boudreaux, Emily Olinde
URN etd-08112010-134702
Title Individual Differences and Memory Aging Concerns of Older Adults
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Cherry, Katie Committee Chair
Davis, Thompson Committee Member
Elliott, Emily Committee Member
Hicks, Jason Committee Member
Matson, Johnny Committee Member
Cain, Daphne Dean's Representative
  • cognitive aging
  • older adults
  • individual differences
Date of Defense 2010-07-09
Availability unrestricted
The present research was designed to address two issues with respect to the self-reported memory functioning of older adults. The first issue concerns older adults’ practical memory concerns, defined as self-appraisals of one’s own memory that include worries, apprehension, and fears about aging that relate to memory. We used a mixed method approach in this study to provide a comprehensive assessment of self-reported memory functioning based on quantitative (the Memory Functioning Questionnaire, the Memory Controllability Inventory) and qualitative (the Practical Memory Concerns survey) indicators. The second issue concerns the contribution of individual difference to older adults’ self-perceived memory functioning. The particular individual difference factors that were expected to influence memory aging concerns included: age, presence or absence of family members with Alzheimer's disease as indicated by self report, knowledge of memory aging (indexed by the Knowledge of Memory Aging Questionnaire), cognitive status (indexed by the Mini-Mental State Exam), and affective status (indexed by the Geriatric Depression Scale). Regarding specific memory aging concerns, obligations to others, spatial information, and important dates were most frequently reported as bothersome to forget. Fear of developing disease (e.g. dementia or Alzheimer’s disease) and fear of losing independence were the most frequently reported fears of memory aging. Of the individual difference factors expected to influence memory aging concerns, affective status and knowledge of memory aging were significant predictors of memory aging concerns. Age, family history of Alzheimer’s disease, and cognitive status were not significantly related to memory aging concerns.
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