An engagement model of cognitive optimization through adulthood

Elizabeth A.L. Stine-Morrow, Jeanine M. Parisi, Daniel G. Morrow, Jennifer Greene, Denise C. Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The engagement hypothesis suggests that social and intellectual engagement may buffer age-related declines in intellectual functioning. At the same time, some have argued that social structures that afford opportunities for intellectual engagement throughout the life span have lagged behind the demographic shift toward an expanding older population. Against this backdrop, we developed the Senior Odyssey, an existing team-based program of creative problem solving. We tested the engagement hypothesis in a field experiment. Relative to controls, Senior Odyssey participants showed improved speed of processing, marginally improved divergent thinking, and higher levels of mindfulness and need for cognition after the program. This pilot translational project suggests that the Senior Odyssey program may serve as one effective model of engagement with good scaling-up potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-69
Number of pages8
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume62
Issue numberSPEC. ISSUE 1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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