Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Umeå universitet/Institutionen för psykologi

Sammanfattning: Episodic memory (EM) displays the most prominent age-related decline. However, this decline could possibly be minimized by engaging in a physically active and cognitively stimulating lifestyle. A way to measure the self-perceived ability to engage in such a lifestyle is with subjective health estimations, which have been associated with objective health. The Subjective Health Horizon Questionnaire (SHH-Q) measures estimated individual maximum age to engage in activities in relation to four lifestyle dimensions: Novelty, Body, Work and Life Goals. Among these, Novelty is suggested to be associated with EM performance. Thus, in this study, the first aim is to corroborate that the SHH-Q items align according to the hypothesized dimensions. The second aim is to assess whether any of the dimensions are associated with EM. In this cross-sectional study 129 Swedish participants, aged 69-73, were evaluated with the SHH-Q and three EM tests. Statistical analyses included Principal Component Analysis (PCA) for aim 1 along with a correlation- and linear regression analysis for aim 2. The results showed that the SHH-Q items aligned with the four dimensions as expected, but that the linear regression model with the SHH-Q in relation to EM was not significant. However, a significant positive zero-order correlation between Novelty and EM (r(90) = .19, p = .04) was found. The association between Novelty and EM highlights the possibility that engaging in novelty-oriented exploration, such as new experiences and environments, may be associated with preserved EM performance at older ages. Future research should investigate the neural correlates of this association.

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