Research report 2005 - Max Planck Institute for Human Development
Social participation and intellectual development in old age
SummaryDoes an engaged and active lifestyle in old age alleviate intellectual decline? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development approached this question by applying a structural equation model for testing dynamic hypotheses to eight-year longitudinal data from the Berlin Aging Study (n = 516; age range = 70–100+years). Results reveal that, within a bivariate system of perceptual speed and social participation, prior scores of social participation influence subsequent changes in perceptual speed, while the opposite does not hold. Results support the hypothesis that an engaged and active lifestyle in old and very old age has beneficial effects on intellectual development in old age.