This study assessed the degree to which anxiety and depression symptoms are associated with memory and executive functioning among community-dwelling older adults (N=120; M age=74.9 years, SD=7.2 years; 62% women). Participants completed the Geriatric Anxiety Scale, Geriatric Depression Scale, Comorbidity Index, California Verbal Learning Test, Second Edition (CVLT-II), and the Trail Making, Verbal Fluency, and 20 Questions subtests of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS). Multiple regression analyses indicated that anxiety and depression predicted poorer ability to learn new information (CVLT-II, Trials 1-5). Both anxiety and depression predicted performance on the D-KEFS Trail Making test, Number-Letter Switching condition. Anxiety, but not depression, predicted decreased categorization as measured by the D-KEFS 20 Questions, Initial Abstraction Score. Depression but not anxiety, predicted performance on D-KEFS Letter Fluency and Category Fluency. Findings suggest that anxiety and depression have unique relationships with cognitive functioning in community-dwelling older adults.
Keywords: Aging; Anxiety; Cognition; Executive functions; Memory; Older adults.
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