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Mental work demands, retirement, and longitudinal trajectories of cognitive functioning.

Authors
Fisher-GG; Stachowski-A; Infurna-FJ; Faul-JD; Grosch-J; Tetrick-LE
Source
J Occup Health Psychol 2014 Apr; 19(2):231-242
NIOSHTIC No.
20044314
Abstract
Age-related changes in cognitive abilities are well-documented, and a very important indicator of health, functioning, and decline in later life. However, less is known about the course of cognitive functioning before and after retirement and specifically whether job characteristics during one's time of employment (i.e., higher vs. lower levels of mental work demands) moderate how cognition changes both before and after the transition to retirement. We used data from n = 4,182 (50% women) individuals in the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative panel study in the United States, across an 18 year time span (1992-2010). Data were linked to the O*NET occupation codes to gather information about mental job demands to examine whether job characteristics during one's time of employment moderates level and rate of change in cognitive functioning (episodic memory and mental status) both before and after retirement. Results indicated that working in an occupation characterized by higher levels of mental demands was associated with higher levels of cognitive functioning before retirement, and a slower rate of cognitive decline after retirement. We controlled for a number of important covariates, including socioeconomic (education and income), demographic, and health variables. Our discussion focuses on pathways through which job characteristics may be associated with the course of cognitive functioning in relation to the important transition of retirement. Implications for job design as well as retirement are offered.
Keywords
Age-factors; Mental-processes; Humans; Men; Women; Mental-stress; Mental-health; Demographic-characteristics; Author Keywords: cognitive aging; cognitive functioning; mental demands; job complexity; retirement; Health and Retirement Study; HRS
Contact
Gwenith G. Fisher, Department of Psychology, 1876 Campus Delivery, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1876
CODEN
JOHPFC
Publication Date
20140401
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
gwen.fisher@colostate.edu
Fiscal Year
2014
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
M052014
Issue of Publication
2
ISSN
1076-8998
NIOSH Division
DART
Priority Area
Healthcare and Social Assistance; Wholesale and Retail Trade
Source Name
Journal of Occupational Health Psychology
State
CO; AZ; OH; WI; MI; VA
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