The present study was conducted to better describe age trends in cognition among older adults in the longitudinal Health and Retirement Study (HRS) from 1992 to 2004 (N = 17,000). The authors used contemporary latent variable models to organize this information in terms of both cross-sectional and longitudinal inferences about age and cognition. Common factor analysis results yielded evidence for at least 2 common factors, labeled Episodic Memory and Mental Status, largely separable from vocabulary. Latent path models with these common factors were based on demographic characteristics. Multilevel models of factorial invariance over age indicated that at least 2 common factors were needed. Latent curve models of episodic memory were based on age at testing and showed substantial age differences and age changes, including impacts due to retesting as well as several time-invariant and time-varying predictors.
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