Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Hogan, MJ
2003
April
Experimental Aging Research
Divided attention in older but not younger adults is impaired by anxiety
Published
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Optional Fields
INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES AGE-DIFFERENCES PERFORMANCE MEMORY COORDINATION STRESS STATES
29
111
136
It has been hypothesized that the disruptive effects of negative emotional states, such as anxiety and depression, may contribute to poorer performance in older age. Some studies have reported that higher levels of anxiety are associated with poorer cognitive performance in older adults but not younger adults. The author examined if age and anxiety interact with performance by comparing the performance of normal healthy younger and older adults on cognitive and motor tests under conditions of selective and divided attention. Ninety-two older adults (mean age=70.1 years, SD=7.1 years) and 78 younger adults ( mean age=18.8 years, SD=1.9 years), matched on education, vocabulary, and self-reported health, performed a word-comparison and pursuit-rotor task under conditions of selective and divided attention. Anxiety was assessed using the Speilberger State-Trait anxiety scale. The hypothesis was supported: higher anxiety was associated with poorer divided attention performance in older, but not younger, adults. Anxiety was not associated with poorer motor performance in older adults. Implications of the results for cognitive-resource theories of aging cognition are discussed.
DOI 10.1080/03610730390176059
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