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Adolescent self-organization predicts midlife memory in a prospective birth cohort study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Man K Xu
  • Peter B Jones
  • Jennifer H Barnett
  • Darya Gaysina
  • Diana Kuh
  • Tim J Croudace
  • Marcus Richards


Publication details

JournalPsychology and aging
DatePublished - Dec 2013
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)958-968
Original languageEnglish


Childhood and adolescent mental health have a lasting impact on adult life chances, with strong implications for subsequent health, including cognitive aging. Using the British 1946 birth cohort, the authors tested associations between adolescent conduct problems, emotional problems and aspects of self-organization, and verbal memory at 43 years and rate of decline in verbal memory from 43 to 60-64 years. After controlling for childhood intelligence, adolescent self-organization was positively associated with verbal memory at 43 years, mainly through educational attainment, although not with rate of memory decline. Associations between adolescent conduct and emotional problems and future memory were of negligible magnitude. It has been suggested that interventions to improve self-organization may save a wide range of societal costs; this study also suggests that this might also benefit cognitive function in later life. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).

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