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

Maria Chiara Fastame, Paul Kenneth Hitchcott, Maria Pietronilla Penna, Giorgio Murino

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-11
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Gerontology and Geriatrics
Volume7
Issue number1
Early online date19 Sep 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • aging
  • elderly
  • metamemory
  • nursing home
  • psychological well-being
  • working memory

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