Factors associated with cognition in adults: the Seattle Longitudinal Study

Res Nurs Health. 2009 Oct;32(5):540-50. doi: 10.1002/nur.20340.


A better understanding of factors that affect cognition could lead to improved health and greater independence for older adults. We examined the association of four modifiable factors (leisure-time physical activity, leisure-time cognitive activity, self-directed work, and hypertension) with changes in two aspects of fluid intelligence (verbal memory and inductive reasoning). Data for 626 adults collected over 14 years (three time points) were analyzed by multi-level modeling. A component of self-directed work, higher work control, was associated with better verbal memory (p < .05) and inductive reasoning (p < .01). There were no significant interactions among these factors. The findings suggest that a strong sense of control at work may be protective for fluid intelligence in adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cognition Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Cognition* / physiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leisure Activities*
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Memory* / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Professional Autonomy
  • Risk Factors
  • Washington / epidemiology