Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Surprising findings on what influences unintended pregnancy from Wise, Geronimus and Smock

Recommendations on how to reduce discrimination resulting from ban-the-box policies cite Starr's work

Brian Jacob on NAEP scores: "Michigan is the only state in the country where proficiency rates have actually declined over time."

More News

Highlights

Call for papers: Conference on computational social science, April 2017, U-M

Sioban Harlow honored with 2017 Sarah Goddard Power Award for commitment to women's health

Post-doc fellowship in computational social science for summer or fall 2017, U-Penn

ICPSR Summer Program scholarships to support training in statistics, quantitative methods, research design, and data analysis

More Highlights

Next Brown Bag

Mon, March 13, 2017, noon:
Rachel Best

Childhood Socioeconomic Position and Cognitive Function in Adulthood

Publication Abstract

Kaplan, George A., G. Turrell, John W. Lynch, S.A. Everson, E.K. Helkala, and J.T. Salonen. 2001. "Childhood Socioeconomic Position and Cognitive Function in Adulthood." International Journal of Epidemiology, 30: 256-263.

Background Risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease is higher among adults with limited education, and the less educated perform poorer on cognitive function tests. This study determines whether the socioeconomic environment experienced during childhood has an impact on cognitive functioning in middle age.

Methods A population-based study of eastern Finnish men (n = 496) aged 58 and 64 for whom there were data on parent's socioeconomic position (SEP), their own education level, and performance on neuropsychological tests. Cognitive function was measured using the Trail Making Test, the Selective Reminding Test, the Verbal Fluency Test, the Visual Reproduction Test, and the Mini Mental State Exam.

Results We found a significant and graded association between parental SEP (combined as an index) and cognitive function both prior to and after adjustment for respondent's education. Those from more disadvantaged backgrounds exhibited the poorest performance. When the separate components of the parental SEP measure were used, father's occupation and mother's education were independently associated with the respondent's score for three and five of the tests, respectively (there was no association with father's education and mother's occupation). After adjustment for the respondent's education, father's occupation was no longer associated with respondent's test score, however, the results were essentially unchanged for mother's education.

Conclusions Higher SEP during childhood and greater educational attainment are both associated with cognitive function in adulthood, with mothers and fathers each contributing to their offspring's formative cognitive development and later life cognitive ability (albeit in different ways). Improvements in both parental socioeconomic circumstances and the educational attainment of their offspring could possibly enhance cognitive function and decrease risk of dementia later in life.

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next