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dc.contributor.authorHale, Jo Mhairi
dc.identifier.citationHale , J M 2017 , ' Cognitive disparities : the impact of the Great Depression and cumulative inequality on later-life cognitive function ' , Demography , vol. 54 , no. 6 , pp. 2125-2158 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 255167935
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 02f1b956-2234-44c8-ad81-67ff01960ee8
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85034647959
dc.identifier.otherPubMed: 29164499
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0003-1343-3879/work/86538391
dc.descriptionOpen access funding provided by Max Planck Society.en
dc.description.abstractPopulation aging has driven a spate of recent research on later-life cognitive function. Greater longevity increases the lifetime risk of memory diseases that compromise the cognitive abilities vital to well-being. Alzheimer’s disease, thought to be the most common underlying pathology for elders’ cognitive dysfunction (Willis and Hakim 2013), is already the sixth leading cause of death in the United States (Alzheimer’s Association 2016). Understanding social determinants of pathological cognitive decline is key to crafting interventions, but evidence is inconclusive for how social factors interact over the life course to affect cognitive function. I study whether early-life exposure to the Great Depression is directly associated with later-life cognitive function, influences risky behaviors over the life course, and/or accumulates with other life-course disadvantages. Using growth curve models to analyze the Health and Retirement Study, I find that early-life exposure to the Great Depression is associated with fluid cognition, controlling for intervening factors—evidence for a critical period model. I find little support for a social trajectory model. Disadvantage accumulates over the life course to predict worse cognitive function, providing strong evidence for a cumulative inequality model.
dc.rights© The Author(s) 2017. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.en
dc.subjectAlzheimer’s diseaseen
dc.subjectCognitive functionen
dc.subjectCritical periodsen
dc.subjectCumulative inequalityen
dc.subjectEarly-life conditionsen
dc.subjectH Social Sciences (General)en
dc.subjectRC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatryen
dc.titleCognitive disparities : the impact of the Great Depression and cumulative inequality on later-life cognitive functionen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.School of Geography & Sustainable Developmenten
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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