The extent to which age-related differences in executive functioning account for age-related differences in recall from episodic memory was examined in a group of healthy older adults. Fifty-one subjects between the ages of 60 and 91 years were given tests of general cognitive abilities, episodic memory, and executive functioning. A mediational model was proposed with executive functioning as the mediator of the relationship between age and delayed recall. Consistent with this model. regression analyses indicated that, when considered alone, age was a significant predictor of recall (p < .001); however, age was not a significant predictor of recall when the effect of executive functioning was partialled out of the equation (p = .37). Furthermore, the unique contribution of executive functioning accounted for 36% of the variance in recall performance. A significant portion of age-related differences in episodic memory recall, therefore, may be due to age-related differences in the executive skills required for optimal performance on such tests.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Geriatrics and Gerontology
- Psychiatry and Mental health