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Is mid-life social participation associated with cognitive function at age 50? Results from the British National Child Development Study (NCDS)

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Psychology, December 2016
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • One of the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#3 of 490)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (98th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
91 news outlets
blogs
2 blogs
twitter
21 tweeters
facebook
1 Facebook page

Citations

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16 Dimensions

Readers on

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84 Mendeley
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Title
Is mid-life social participation associated with cognitive function at age 50? Results from the British National Child Development Study (NCDS)
Published in
BMC Psychology, December 2016
DOI 10.1186/s40359-016-0164-x
Pubmed ID
Authors

Ann Bowling, Jitka Pikhartova, Brian Dodgeon

Abstract

Some studies have indicated that social engagement is associated with better cognitive outcomes. This study aimed to investigate associations between life-course social engagement (civic participation) and cognitive status at age 50, adjusting for social networks and support, behavioural, health, social and socio-economic characteristics. The vehicle for the study was the National Child Development Study (1958 Birth Cohort Study), which is a general population sample in England, Scotland and Wales (9119: 4497 men and 4622 women) participating in nationally representative, prospective birth cohort surveys. The primary outcome variable was cognitive status at age 50, measured by memory test (immediate and delayed word recall test) and executive functioning test (word fluency and letter cancelation tests). The influence of hypothesised predictor variables was analysed using linear multiple regression analysis. Cognitive ability at age 11 (β = 0.19;95% CI = 0.17 to 0.21), participation in civic activities at ages 33 (0.12; 0.02 to 0.22) and 50 (0.13; 0.07 to 0.20), frequent engagement in physical activity (sport) (β from 0.15 to 0.18), achieving higher level qualifications (β from 0.23 to 1.08), and female gender (β = 0.49;95% CI = 0.38 to 0.60) were positively, significantly and independently associated with cognitive status at age 50. Having low socio-economic status at ages 11 (β from -0.22 to -0.27) and 42 (β from -0.28 to -0.38), and manifesting worse mental well-being at age 42 (β = -0.18; 95% CI = -0.33 to -0.02) were inversely associated with cognitive status at age 50. The proportion of explained variance in the multiple regression model (18%), while modest, is impressive given the multi-faceted causal nature of cognitive status. The results indicate that modest associations between adult social engagement and cognitive function at age 50 persist after adjusting for covariates which included health, socio-economic status and gender, supporting theories of neuroplasticity. In addition to the continuing emphasis on physical activity, the encouragement of civic participation, at least as early as mid-life, should be a targeted policy to potentially promote and protect cognitive function in later mid-life.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 21 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 84 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 84 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 14 17%
Student > Doctoral Student 13 15%
Student > Ph. D. Student 11 13%
Researcher 9 11%
Student > Bachelor 8 10%
Other 7 8%
Unknown 22 26%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Social Sciences 13 15%
Psychology 13 15%
Sports and Recreations 7 8%
Nursing and Health Professions 6 7%
Medicine and Dentistry 4 5%
Other 12 14%
Unknown 29 35%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 728. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 23 July 2020.
All research outputs
#15,421
of 18,360,230 outputs
Outputs from BMC Psychology
#3
of 490 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#532
of 402,176 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Psychology
#2
of 54 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 18,360,230 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 490 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 20.5. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 402,176 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 54 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its contemporaries.