Social factors may mediate the relationship between subjective age-related hearing loss and episodic memory

David G Loughrey, Joanne Feeney, Frank Kee, Brian A Lawlor, Jayne V Woodside, Annalisa Setti, Joanna McHugh Power

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives: To investigate whether the relationship between subjective age-related hearing loss (SARHL) and episodic memory functioning is mediated by measures of social functioning.Methods: Using data from 8,163 adults over 50 that participated in the Irish Longitudinal Study of Ageing (three waves, each two years apart), we used a multiple mediation model within a Structural Equation Modelling framework to explore potential social mediators of the relationship between SARHL and episodic memory functioning, controlling for demographic and health covariates.Results: Neither the direct effect of self-reported hearing difficulties on memory functioning (β = -.03), nor the total effect (β = .01), were significant. A small inconsistent indirect effect of self-reported hearing difficulties on episodic memory via weekly social activity engagement (β = -.002) was found.Conclusions: Self-reported hearing difficulties may exert an indirect effect on episodic memory via weekly social activity engagement. The findings may have implications for identification of individuals at risk of memory decline in later life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
JournalAging & Mental Health
Early online date18 Feb 2020
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 18 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes

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