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Schollgen I.,University of Heidelberg | Schmiedek F.,German Institute for International Educational Research DIPF
Psychology and Aging | Year: 2012

The importance of socioeconomic status (SES) for psychological functioning over the life span is increasingly acknowledged in psychological research. The Reserve Capacity Model by Gallo and Matthews (2003) suggests that SES is not only linked to physical health but also to the experience of positive and negative emotions. Moreover, due to differential amounts of psychosocial resources, cross-domain associations between emotions and health might differ according to SES. The present study examined age-related developments in positive affect (PA), negative affect (NA), and physical health, as well as dynamic associations between health and emotions in the second half of life. We looked at differences in these trajectories and their interrelationships according to education as one aspect of SES. We used data of up to three waves spanning 12 years from the nationally representative German Ageing Survey (N = 3,847, AgeT1 = 40-85 years). Applying multiple-group dual change score models, we found differential age-related change in PA and physical health, but not in NA, in two groups differing in level of education. NA did only predict change in physical health in low-educated individuals, whereas physical health was equally strongly related to change in PA in both education groups. These results indicate that SES not only affects changes in physical health and emotional functioning but also their interrelationships. © 2011 American Psychological Association. Source

Brose A.,Max Planck Institute for Human Development | Scheibe S.,University of Groningen | Schmiedek F.,Max Planck Institute for Human Development | Schmiedek F.,German Institute for International Educational Research DIPF
Psychology and Aging | Year: 2013

Emotional stability, as indicated by low affect variability and low affective reactivity to daily events, for example, tends to increase across the adult life span. This study investigated a contextual explanation for such age differences, relating affect variability and affective reactivity to age-group- specific life contexts. A sample of 101 younger and 103 older adults reported daily stressors and negative affect across 100 days. Compared with younger adults, older adults (a) experienced fewer stressors overall, (b) had less heterogeneous stressor profiles, and (c) reported that stressors had less impact on daily routines. As expected, these contextual factors were relevant for interindividual differences in emotional stability. Multiple regression analyses revealed that reduced affect variability and affective reactivity in older adults were associated with these age-group specific life contexts. Moreover, matching younger and older adults on the contextual factors to explore the effects of context on age-group differences further provided support for the (partially) contextual explanation of age differences in emotional stability. Matched subgroups of younger and older adults that were comparable on contextual variables were identified. Affective variability, but not affective reactivity, was more similar in the matched subsamples than in the total samples of younger and older adults. We conclude that contexts in which affective experiences emerge require more attention when aiming to explain interindividual and age group differences in emotional stability. Moreover, future studies need to disentangle the extent to which contexts interact with active self-regulatory processes to shape affective experiences across adulthood.© 2012 American Psychological Association. Source

Grandy T.H.,Max Planck Institute for Human Development | Werkle-Bergner M.,Max Planck Institute for Human Development | Chicherio C.,Max Planck Institute for Human Development | Chicherio C.,University of Geneva | And 5 more authors.
Psychophysiology | Year: 2013

The individual alpha frequency (IAF) of the human EEG reflects systemic properties of the brain, is highly heritable, and relates to cognitive functioning. Not much is known about the modifiability of IAF by cognitive interventions. We report analyses of resting EEG from a large-scale training study in which healthy younger (20-31 years, N=30) and older (65-80 years, N=28) adults practiced 12 cognitive tasks for ~100 1-h sessions. EEG was recorded before and after the cognitive training intervention. In both age groups, IAF (and, in a control analysis, alpha amplitude) did not change, despite large gains in cognitive performance. As within-session reliability and test-retest stability were high for both age groups, imprecise measurements cannot account for the findings. In sum, IAF is highly stable in healthy adults up to 80 years, not easily modifiable by cognitive interventions alone, and thus qualifies as a stable neurophysiological trait marker. Copyright © 2013 by the Society for Psychophysiological Research. Source

Zylka J.,German Institute for International Educational Research DIPF
Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Computers in Education, ICCE 2012 | Year: 2012

Owing to the increasingly fast development of media and especially the advancement of computer technology in recent decades, the topic of ICT integration in classrooms is being intensively discussed on different levels and media educators argue about the missing link between school education and the use of ICT in schools. In this respect, ICT-related competencies of teachers are supposed to play an important role, but approaches assessing ICT-related competencies - in general as well as in terms of the teacher profession - rarely exist and, thus, extensive data on ICT literacy of teachers is missing. The presented article focuses on identifying ICT knowledge of German teachers and teacher trainees, taken as a central aspect of media and ICT literacy, and in this respect especially addresses age-related and gender issues as well as different levels of ICT knowledge. Source

Kuhn S.,Ghent University | Kuhn S.,Charite - Medical University of Berlin | Schmiedek F.,Max Planck Institute for Human Development | Schmiedek F.,German Institute for International Educational Research DIPF | And 7 more authors.
Human Brain Mapping | Year: 2013

Increases in striatal activity have been suggested to mediate training-related improvements in working-memory ability. We investigated the temporal dynamics of changes in task-related brain activity following training of working memory. Participants in an experimental group and an active control group, trained on easier tasks of a constant difficulty in shorter sessions than the experimental group, were measured before, after about 1 week, and after more than 50 days of training. In the experimental group an initial increase of working-memory related activity in the functionally defined right striatum and anatomically defined right and left putamen was followed by decreases, resulting in an inverted u-shape function that relates activity to training over time. Activity increases in the striatum developed slower in the active control group, observed at the second posttest after more than 50 days of training. In the functionally defined left striatum, initial activity increases were maintained after more extensive training and the pattern was similar for the two groups. These results shed new light on the relation between activity in the striatum (especially the putamen) and the effects of working memory training, and illustrate the importance of multiple measurements for interpreting effects of training on regional brain activity. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

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