The reciprocal relationship between participation in leisure activities and cognitive functioning: the moderating effect of self-rated literacy level

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21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Participation in leisure activities is beneficial for cognitive functioning of older adults, but it is less known whether it is also beneficial for those with low basic cognitive level. This study examined the reciprocal relationship between participating in leisure activities and cognitive functioning among low and higher literacy level older adults. Method: Respondents aged 60 years and older who participated in both first waves (2005–2006 and 2009–2010) of the Israeli component of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE-Israel) were divided into low (n = 139) and higher literacy level respondents (n = 714). They reported participation in leisure activities and completed measures of cognitive functioning at both waves. Results: Cross-lagged models showed that participation in leisure activities predicted higher cognitive functioning four years later only among older adults with low literacy level. On the other hand, cognitive functioning predicted more participation in leisure activities four years later only among higher literacy level older adults. Conclusions: Participating in leisure activities may be especially beneficial to cognitive functioning among older adults with low literacy level, as their initial low cognitive level allows more room for cognitive improvement than among higher literacy level older adults. Public efforts aimed at increasing participation in leisure activities may therefore target particularly older adults with low basic cognitive level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-531
Number of pages8
JournalAging and Mental Health
Volume21
Issue number5
Early online date8 Jan 2016
DOIs
StatePublished - 4 May 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Taylor & Francis.

Keywords

  • Leisure activities
  • SHARE-Israel
  • cognitive functioning
  • self-rated literacy

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