Background/Purpose: This study was mainly aimed at investigating the impact of institutionalization on working-memory and self-referent metamemory abilities in a sample of cognitively healthy Italian elders. Methods: Fifteen participants (70-91 years old) were recruited from several nursing homes located in Ogliastra, the central eastern area of Sardinia, which is characterized by a higher longevity of its inhabitants. A further sample of 15 community-dwelling elders was recruited in the same areas. The participants were asked to complete several visuospatial and verbal working-memory tasks, and a battery of questionnaires assessing their psychological well-being, general beliefs about global and prospective-memory efficiency, and personal metamnestic abilities. Results: The results showed that, compared with the community-dwelling participants, the institutionalized elders self-rated lower metamemory efficiency, but they trust more general metamemory functions of a stereotypical adult. Furthermore, no differences were found on the well-being measures between the two groups. These outcomes are not biased by social desirability. Conclusion: These findings suggest that institutionalization selectively impacts self-assessed metamemory functions, but not psychological well-being.

Does institutionalization influence perceived metamemory, psychological well-being, and working-memory efficiency in Italian elders? A preliminary study

FASTAME, MARIA CHIARA;HITCHCOTT, PAUL KENNETH;PENNA, MARIA PIETRONILLA;
2016

Abstract

Background/Purpose: This study was mainly aimed at investigating the impact of institutionalization on working-memory and self-referent metamemory abilities in a sample of cognitively healthy Italian elders. Methods: Fifteen participants (70-91 years old) were recruited from several nursing homes located in Ogliastra, the central eastern area of Sardinia, which is characterized by a higher longevity of its inhabitants. A further sample of 15 community-dwelling elders was recruited in the same areas. The participants were asked to complete several visuospatial and verbal working-memory tasks, and a battery of questionnaires assessing their psychological well-being, general beliefs about global and prospective-memory efficiency, and personal metamnestic abilities. Results: The results showed that, compared with the community-dwelling participants, the institutionalized elders self-rated lower metamemory efficiency, but they trust more general metamemory functions of a stereotypical adult. Furthermore, no differences were found on the well-being measures between the two groups. These outcomes are not biased by social desirability. Conclusion: These findings suggest that institutionalization selectively impacts self-assessed metamemory functions, but not psychological well-being.
Aging, Elderly, Metamemory, Nursing home, Psychological well-being, Working memory, Geriatrics and gerontology
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11584/117874
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