Social engagement and cognitive function in old age

Exp Aging Res. 2009 Jan-Mar;35(1):45-60. doi: 10.1080/03610730802545028.


We examined the association of diverse measures of social engagement with level of function in multiple cognitive domains in 838 persons without dementia who had a mean age of 80.2 (SD = 7.5). Social network size, frequency of social activity, and level of perceived social support were assessed in linear regression models adjusted for age, sex, education, and other covariates. Social activity and social support were related to better cognitive function, whereas social network size was not strongly related to global cognition. The results confirm that higher level of social engagement in old age is associated with better cognitive function but the association varies across domains of social engagement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cognition*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Behavior*
  • Social Support
  • United States