The Impact of Mental Aerobics Training on Older Adults

Bert Hayslip, Kay Paggi, Daniela Caballero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Mental Aerobics (MA) is a cognitively oriented intervention designed to improve older adults' perceptions of their cognitive ability as well as positively impact their performance. Forty-seven community-residing older adults (M age = 67.39, SD = 5.75) were randomly assigned to either a treatment (n = 24) or a waiting list control (n = 23) group. Participants in both treatment and control conditions completed measures of depression, self-rated health, cognitive functioning, and cognitive self-efficacy. Findings support the conclusion that MA can be an effective intervention in improving older adults' affectivity, everyday task self-efficacy, and self-rated health. The impact of MA on measures of generalized fluid ability (Gf) and generalized crystallized ability (Gc) skills was moderated by level of education. The subsequent provision of MA training to controls minimized the performance differences between the treatment and control conditions, as well as the moderating effect of level of education. These findings suggest that MA can be effectively used to enhance older adults' views of their skills, critical to efforts to maintain cognitive functioning into later life, although some older persons may benefit to a greater extent than others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1130-1153
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • lifelong learning
  • mental aerobics
  • older adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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