Intelligence trajectories in adolescents and adults with down syndrome: Cognitively stimulating leisure activities mitigate health and ADL problems

Hefziba Batya Lifshit, Noa Bustan, Shlomit Shnitzer-Meirovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Goals: This study examined: (a) crystallized/fluid intelligence trajectories of adolescents and adults with Down syndrome; and (b) the contribution of endogenous (health, activities of daily living—ADL) and exogenous (cognitively stimulating leisure activities) factors on adults’ intelligence with age. Method: Four cohorts (N = 80) with Down syndrome participated: adolescents (ages 16–21) and adults (ages 30–45, 46–60 and 61+). All completed Vocabulary and Similarities (crystallized) and Block Design and Raven (fluid) intelligence tests (WAIS-IIIHEB, Wechsler, 2001). Results: The 30–45 cohort significantly outperformed the 16–21 cohort. Except for Vocabulary, which remained stable, onset of decline was at 40–50. Age-related declining health and ADL correlated with participants’ lower fluid intelligence, but cognitive leisure activities mitigated this influence. Conclusions: Intelligence development into adulthood supported the continuous trajectory and compensation age theory, rather than accelerated or stable trajectories. Not only endogenous factors but also exogenous factors determined intelligence levels in adults with Down syndrome, supporting cognitive activity theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-506
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Funding

This work was supported by a grant from the Shalem Fund for the Development of Services for People with Intellectual Disabilities in the Local Councils in Israel.

FundersFunder number
Local Councils in Israel
Shalem Fund

    Keywords

    • adolescents and adults with Down syndrome
    • cognitively stimulating leisure activities
    • crystallized and fluid intelligence
    • trajectories

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