Objectives.To compare the prediction of cognitive functioning by formal education and self-rated literacy and the differences in prediction across younger and older cohorts.Method.Data on 28,535 respondents were drawn from a cross-sectional representative sample of community-dwelling older individuals (≥50), participating in the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe. Education level was classified according to the International Standard Classification of Education 1997 (ISCED-1997) self-rated literacy was determined by having respondents rate their reading and writing on 1-5 scales. Cognitive functioning was measured by verbal recall, word fluency, and arithmetic ability.Results.Structural equation modeling demonstrated that self-rated literacy was more strongly associated with cognitive functioning than was education level, with or without additional exogenous variables (age, sex, household income, medical conditions, activities of daily living, reading eyesight, and country). The association between education level and cognitive functioning was weaker in older than in younger age groups, whereas the association between self-rated literacy and cognitive functioning showed the opposite trend.Discussion.Self-rated literacy was found to be a better predictor of late-life cognitive functioning than was the level of formal education. The results have implications for studies of age-related differences in which education level is taken into account.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences|
|State||Published - Nov 2012|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Data collection was primarily funded by the European Commission through its fifth and sixth framework programs (project numbers QLK6-CT-2001-00360, RII-CT-2006-062193, CIT5-CT-2005-028857). Additional funding came from the U . S . National Institute on Aging (grant numbers U01 AG09740-13S2, P01 AG005842, P01 AG08291, P30 AG12815, Y1-AG-4553-01 OGHA 04-064). SHARE data collection in Israel was funded by the U . S . National Institute on Aging (R21 AG025169), by the German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development, and by the National Insurance Institute of Israel. These funds were used exclusively for data collection. None of the research funds were received by any of the authors.
- Cognitive functioning
- Reading and writing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Sociology and Political Science
- Life-span and Life-course Studies