Characterizing and explaining differences in cognitive test performance between african american and European American older adults

Exp Aging Res. Jan-Mar 2008;34(1):80-100. doi: 10.1080/03610730701776427.


The present study examined differences in cognitive performance of African American and European American older adults on cognitive and intellectual measures, and the extent to which literacy status or reading level was useful in explaining these group differences. African American elders performed more poorly than European American elders on 12 of 13 cognitive tests administered, p < .05. After controlling for reading level achievement, differences in performance became nonsignificant for 5 of these 12 tests. Nonetheless, some differences persisted, suggesting that other potential mediators of race differences remain to be explored in future research.

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / psychology*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cognition
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Educational Status
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / psychology*
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Judgment
  • Language Tests
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Matched-Pair Analysis
  • Memory
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual
  • Pilot Projects
  • Problem Solving
  • Psychometrics / methods*
  • Research Design
  • Verbal Learning