How ageing and social factors affect memory

Fred C.J. Stevens*, Charles D. Kaplan, Rudolph W.H.M. Ponds, Joseph P.M. Diederiks, Jellemer Jolles

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    OBJECTIVES: To explore the relationships between lifestyle and memory, and determine whether social factors influence memory. METHODS: the relationship between memory and lifestyle was examined in 497 adults aged 25-80 years, using the Mectamemory in Adulthood questionnaire. We asked about sports activity and perceived activity, participation in voluntary organizations and social contacts. RESULTS: Activity and frequent contact with friends and family were related to higher memory capacity scores. Those with higher capacity scores were also younger, had better health and a stronger internal locus of control. In contrast, people with higher anxiety scores had more symptoms and less education, and were more externally oriented. CONCLUSIONS: people who consider themselves socially and physically active also consider their memory capacity to be good and are less anxious about their memory than less socially and physically active people. Perceived memory change appears to be predominantly influenced by ageing, whereas memory capacity and memory anxiety are more influenced by social factors.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)379-384
    Number of pages6
    JournalAge and Ageing
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999


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