The Effects of Age and Education on Executive Functioning and Language Performance in Greek Cypriot Adults: Findings from the Neurocognitive Study on Aging.
SourceJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
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Background/Aims: Age, educational experiences, language and culture can affect linguistic-cognitive performance. This is the first systematic study investigating linguistic-cognitive aging in Greek Cypriot adults focusing on executive functioning (EF) and oral naming performance. Method: Three hundred and fifty-nine participants were included, a group of young-old, aged 60–75 years (n = 231), and a group of old-old participants, aged 76 years and older (n = 128). Participants in each age group were divided into three education groups: 0–4 years (n = 50), 5–9 years (n = 198), and 10 years of education and higher (n = 111). Participants were administered 5 measures of EF along with measures of receptive vocabulary and confrontational naming. Results: There was a significant relationship between the EF composite score and all language measures. MANOVA (α = 0.05) indicated significant age and education effects on most measures of EF and language. Performance on receptive vocabulary and cognitive shift remained stable across age groups, but was mediated by education. Conclusion: Education plays a significant role on all measures requiring semantic organization, speed of information processing, cognitive shift, mental flexibility, receptive vocabulary and confrontational naming. Furthermore, strategic thinking has a role in semantic knowledge, word retrieval and semantic access in healthy aging. We conclude with clinical implications and assessment considerations in aphasia.