Education Desegregation and Cognitive Change in African American Older Adults

Adrienne T. Aiken-Morgan, Alyssa A. Gamaldo, Regina C. Sims, Jason C. Allaire, Keith E. Whitfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Objectives. The present study examined the relationship between desegregated schooling and cognitive change in a sample of 420 community-dwelling African American elders (mean age = 68.6; SD = 9.1). Method. Participants were recruited for the Baltimore Study of Black Aging - Patterns of Cognitive Aging. Cognitive measures from six domains of function were administered at baseline and follow-up 33 months later. Repeated measures multivariate analysis of covariance was conducted; the between subjects factors were schooling type and age cohort, and the within subjects factor was time. Analyses controlled for age, years of education, and sex, and follow-up univariate analyses were used to determine which individual cognitive scores drove the multivariate effects. Results. There were significant multivariate within-group, between-group, and interaction effects (p <. 05). Univariate analyses indicated that the desegregated schooling group scored significantly better on Language and Perceptual Speed (p <. 01), and the youngest age cohort (50- to 59-year-olds) performed better on measures of Perceptual Speed. There were no significant univariate interactions between schooling group or age cohort and cognitive change over time. Discussion. Overall, these findings suggest a slight advantage of desegregated schooling for cognitive performance, but no advantage of desegregated schooling on the rate of cognitive change over time in this sample.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-356
Number of pages9
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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