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Jacqueline Torres, PhD2019-2020 Texas RCMAR Scholar


Visit Dr. Torres's web bio at the University of California, San Francisco

Household composition and cognitive change among older adults in Mexico

Mentors: Rebeca Wong, PhD and Kyriakos Markides, PhD

As the burden of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRDs) increases worldwide, there is a growing interest in identifying key population-level drivers of cognitive outcomes in global settings, including social and family-level determinants of cognitive aging. While older adults in LMICs exhibit a high overall prevalence of co-residence, including with adult children, there may be changes in the underlying composition of the household due to out-migration of adult children and/or residential moves among older adults. These changes may influence cognitive outcomes through pathways related to social interaction, mental and physical health, and economic conditions. Little is known about how shifts in household composition impact cognitive aging in global settings. Such research requires longitudinal data and statistical approaches that can account for reciprocal associations between cognitive performance and household change. We will utilize longitudinal, population-based cohort data from the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS) in four waves over 2001-2015, to 1) Evaluate the feasibility of constructing meaningful variables to capture the change in household composition over time, including respondent and family-member moves in mid to late-life and 2) Examine the effect of changes in household composition on cognitive decline for older respondents. Aim 2 will rely on novel statistical techniques better account for reciprocal associations between time-varying household composition, time-varying cognitive performance, and time-varying confounders. The pilot project will serve as a preliminary analysis for a larger R01 project to evaluate whether the effects of household composition and shifts in household composition on cognitive outcomes differ across cross-national settings.


Texas RCMAR is funded by the National Institute on Aging, Grant Number P30AG059301.
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