Well-being affects changes in perceptual speed in advanced old age: Longitudinal evidence for a dynamic link

This study examined competing hypotheses about dynamic cross-domain associations between perceptual speed and well-being in advanced old age. We applied the bivariate dual change score model (J. J. McArdle & F. Hamagami, 2001) to 13-year incomplete longitudinal data from the Berlin Aging Study (P. B. Baltes & K. U. Mayer, 1999; N = 516, 70-103 years at T1, M = 85 years). Reports of well-being were found to influence subsequent decline in perceptual speed (time lags of 2 years). No evidence was found for a directed effect in the other direction. None of the potential covariates examined (initial health constraints, personality, and social participation) accounted for these differential lead-lag associations. Our results suggest that well-being is not only a consequence of but also a source for successful aging. The discussion focuses on conceptual implications and methodological considerations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved) (from the journal abstract)