Numeracy Skills and Self-Reported Mental Health in People Aging Well
Fastame M. C.
First;Penna M. P.;Hitchcott P. K.
AbstractThis study investigated the relationship between numerical accuracy (i.e, number comprehension and mental calculation) and self-reported depression in late adulthood. Whether social context (i.e., marital status) and very early cognitive decline symptoms impacted numerical performance was also examined. Ninety-four community-dwelling elderly participants were recruited in Sardinia, an Italian island characterized by increased longevity. All participants were presented a battery of tests and questionnaires assessing general cognitive efficiency, lifestyle, perceived physical health, numeracy, metacognitive and depressive responses. Number comprehension skills, time spent for gardening, metacognitive performance, and physical health predicted 26% of variance in CES-D index. Furthermore, married participants outperformed single/widowed ones in both number comprehension and mental calculation tasks. The same pattern of results was replicated when cognitively healthy controls were contrasted with participants with some signs of cognitive decline. The assessment of numeracy skills can be very informative in order to promote mental health and life quality in late adult span.
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