Associations between Education and Occupation in high functioning older Adults: a Brazilian Sample

Published: 23 April 2024| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/mk3s366kfh.1
Gabriel Andrade,


Introduction: Although aging is naturally associated with cognitive decline, some lifestyle factors such as formal education and occupational complexity were shown to promote the preservation of cognitive functions such as memory. Objectives: This cross-sectional study aimed to assess the associations of both education and occupational complexity with memory functions in a sample of autonomous, healthy older adults. Methods: A final sample of 56 participants was tested for executive functions, episodic memory, non-verbal memory, and reaction speed. mPACC scores were calculated in order to classify the participants into standard or High-Performing Older Adults. The lifelong occupations were classified according to the International Standard Classification of Occupations-08 criteria. Results: The results demonstrated a strong association between occupational complexity and education, with both adding predictive value to linear and logistic regression models predicting cognitive functioning. Education, when compared to occupational complexity, was more robustly associated with executive functioning, while lifelong occupational complexity was a stronger predictor of general cognitive functioning and mental state. Conclusion: The findings support the concept of resilience, as both education and occupation were found to be associated with higher cognitive performance in older adults.



Aging, Healthy Ageing, Neuropsychology