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Luszcz M.A.,Flinders University | Anstey K.J.,Australian National University | Ghisletta P.,University of Geneva | Ghisletta P.,Distance Learning University
Gerontology | Year: 2015

Background: Neither subjective memory beliefs, nor remembering itself, can be isolated from the overall context in which one is aging, nor are the drivers of memory complaints well specified. Sense of control is an important self-regulatory resource that drives cognitive and physical health over the lifespan. Existing findings are equivocal concerning both the extent of stability or change in control beliefs over time as well as their contribution to changes in behavior. Objective: Subjective beliefs may play a role when engaging memory processes or identifying memory complaints, and it has been argued that self-regulatory potential in general may be limited by age-related changes in the domains of health and cognition. We aimed to examine trajectories of change and shed light on relationships among subjective beliefs and indicators of memory and functional health. Methods: Participants' data were drawn from four measurement occasions over up to a 12-year period (1992-2004) from the Australian Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ALSA), a population-based study of older adults [age 65-100 years; mean age(SD) at the first and final occasion 78.2 (6.7) and 84.9 (4.9) years, respectively]. Participants completed three questionnaires assessing subjective beliefs concerning (1) memory knowledge and control, (2) health control, and (3) expectancy of control over a range of lifestyle situations. Memory comprised a recall composite. Functional health tapped mobility and disability. Latent growth curve models incorporated informative covariates (baseline age, gender, self-rated health, education, and chronic conditions). Results: While subjective memory control beliefs, but not subjective knowledge of memory tasks, improved over 12 years, neither was associated with level of memory performance. Knowledge of memory tasks was linked to a significant memory decline. Beliefs about memory, health, and lifestyle were interrelated. Declines in remembering and health were also coupled; moreover, changes in both were coupled with change in lifestyle control beliefs. Conclusions: This is the first examination of individual differences in changes in, and relationships among, psychological domains of subjective beliefs about memory, health, and lifestyle, and objective remembering and functional health in very late life. Findings point to a system of coupled changes in memory and health in late life that is related to underlying beliefs about control over lifestyle. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Ghisletta P.,University of Geneva | Ghisletta P.,Distance Learning University | Backman L.,Karolinska Institutet | Bertram L.,Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics | And 6 more authors.
Psychology and Aging | Year: 2014

The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) promotes activity-dependent synaptic plasticity, and contributes to learning and memory. We investigated whether a common Val66Met missense polymorphism (rs6265) of the BDNF gene is associated with individual differences in cognitive decline (marked by perceptual speed) in old age. A total of 376 participants of the Berlin Aging Study, with a mean age of 83.9 years at first occasion, were assessed longitudinally up to 11 times across more than 13 years on the Digit-Letter task. Met carriers (n = 123, 34%) showed steeper linear decline than Val homozygotes (n = 239, 66%); the corresponding contrast explained 2.20% of the variance in change in the entire sample, and 3.41% after excluding individuals at risk for dementia. These effects were not moderated by sex or socioeconomic status. Results are consistent with the hypothesis that normal aging magnifies the effects of common genetic variation on cognitive functioning. © 2014 American Psychological Association.

Cheval B.,University of Geneva | Courvoisier D.S.,University of Geneva | Chanal J.,University of Geneva | Chanal J.,Distance Learning University
Preventive Medicine | Year: 2016

Objective: Physical education (PE) during school provides an opportunity for children to be physically active. Few empirical studies have investigated developmental trajectories and determinants of objective moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during PE classes. The purpose of this study was to examine the developmental trajectories and determinants of MVPA during PE lessons in young children (8-12 years of age) in primary schools. Methods: Students in grades 5-7 (n = 1202; 51.2% girls) were recruited from 17 elementary schools from the Geneva canton in 2012-2013. The percentage of time spent in accelerometer-assessed MVPA during regular PE lessons was used as a dependent variable. Results: Linear mixed-model analyses revealed (a) that boys had a higher percentage of MVPA than girls, but none of the children reached the recommended activity levels (i.e., 50% of the PE class time spent in MVPA), (b) a linear decrease in the percentage of MVPA with age, (c) that higher perceived competence predicted a higher percentage of MVPA, and (d) that higher perceived competence reduced the negative linear effect of age among boys, but not among girls. Conclusion: The percentage of PE time spent in MVPA did not reach recommendations made by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and decreased from 8 to 12 years old both for boys and girls. Perceived competence appears crucial to reduce MVPA decline for boys, but not for girls. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.

Borella E.,University of Padua | Ghisletta P.,University of Geneva | Ghisletta P.,Distance Learning University | De Ribaupierre A.,University of Geneva
Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences | Year: 2011

Objectives. Age-related changes in the efficiency of various general cognitive mechanisms have been evoked to account for age-related differences between young and older adults in text comprehension performance. Using structural equation modeling, we investigate the relationship between age, working memory (WM), inhibition-related mechanisms, processing speed, and text comprehension, focusing on surface and text-based levels of processing. Methods. Eighty-nine younger (M = 23.11 years) and 102 older (M = 70.50 years) adults were presented text comprehension, WM, inhibition, and processing speed tasks. In the text comprehension task, the demand on the memory system was manipulated, by allowing (text present) or not (text absent) viewing the text during the answering phase. Results. As expected, age differences were larger when the text was absent. The best fitting model showed that WM mediated the influence of age on both text processing conditions, whereas age-related variance in WM was, in turn, accounted for by processing speed and inhibition. Discussion. These findings confirm the hypothesis that WM capacity explains age differences in text processing, while it is itself accounted for by the efficiency of inhibiting irrelevant information and by speed of processing. © The Author 2011.

Chanal J.,University of Geneva | Chanal J.,Distance Learning University | Guay F.,Laval University
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

This research sought to test whether autonomous and controlled motivations are specific to school subjects or more general to the school context. In two cross-sectional studies, 252 elementary school children (43.7% male; mean age = 10.7 years, SD = 1.3 years) and 334 junior high school children (49.7% male, mean age = 14.07 years, SD = 1.01 years) were administered a questionnaire assessing their motivation for various school subjects. Results based on structural equation modeling using the correlated trait-correlated method minus one model (CTCM-1) showed that autonomous and controlled motivations assessed at the school subject level are not equally school-subject-specific. We found larger specificity effects for autonomous (intrinsic and identified) than for controlled (introjected and external) motivation. In both studies, results of factor loadings and the correlations with selfconcept and achievement demonstrated that more evidence of specificity was obtained for autonomous regulations than for controlled ones. These findings suggest a new understanding of the hierarchical and multidimensional academic structure of autonomous and controlled motivations and of the mechanisms involved in the development of types of regulations for school subjects. Copyright: © 2015 Chanal, Guay.

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