|Title||Pathways from early life SES to dementia risk in old age: The role of personality.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||Forthcoming|
|Authors||Sesker, AA, O'Súilleabháin, PS, Lee, JHyun, Aschwanden, D, Luchetti, M, Stephan, Y, Terracciano, A, Sutin, AR|
|Journal||The Journals of Gerontology: Series B|
|Keywords||CIND, Conscientiousness, cSES, Dementia, Neuroticism|
OBJECTIVE: This study investigates the association between childhood socioeconomic status (cSES) and risk of cognitive impairment in older adulthood, and whether Five Factor Model personality traits mediated this association.
METHODS: A sample of 9,995 participants (mean age = 67.01 years) from the Health and Retirement Study were followed every two years from 2006 to 2018. cSES was tested as a predictor of risk of dementia and risk of cognitive impairment not dementia (CIND). Personality was tested as a mediator of these associations. Models were adjusted for age, gender, ethnicity, race, education, and baseline year.
RESULTS: Although effect sizes were modest, results indicated that lower cSES was associated with higher risk of dementia (HR=0.88, [0.775, 0.985]). Higher cSES was also associated with higher Conscientiousness and lower Neuroticism. Conscientiousness and Neuroticism each accounted for 7.9% of the total effect of cSES on dementia. Results were similar for CIND.
CONCLUSIONS: Early childhood socioeconomic factors may contribute to cognitive impairment in older adulthood, an association mediated, in part, through adult personality traits.