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    Perceived weight discrimination and performance in five domains of cognitive function

    Sutin, Angelina R. and Stephan, Yannick and Gerend, Mary A. and Robinson, Eric and Daly, Michael and Terracciano, Antonio (2020) Perceived weight discrimination and performance in five domains of cognitive function. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 131 (109793). ISSN 0022-3999

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    Objective—Individuals who perceive unfair treatment because of their body weight have been found to be at increased risk of poor health outcomes, including risk of dementia. The present research examines the relation between weight discrimination and performance in five cognitive domains (episodic memory, speed-attention, visuospatial ability, language, numeric reasoning) and whether the associations extend to other common attributions for discrimination (age, gender, race). Method—Participants (N=2,593) were from the Harmonized Cognitive Assessment Protocol (HCAP) sub-study of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). HCAP participants completed a battery of cognitive tasks that measured the five focal cognitive domains. Participants reported on their perceived experiences with discrimination at the previous regular HRS assessment. Results—In models that accounted for demographic covariates and BMI, weight discrimination (reported by 6% of participants) was associated with a two-fold increased risk of poor performance on tasks of episodic memory, speed-attention, visuospatial ability, and numeric reasoning. Body mass index was largely unrelated to performance in the five cognitive domains. The other attributions for discrimination were generally unrelated to cognition, but there were sexand race-specific associations for gender and race discrimination, respectively. Conclusions—The present study identified attribution- and domain-specific associations between discrimination and cognitive performance in older adulthood.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is the preprint version of the published article, which is available at Angelina R. Sutin, Yannick Stephan, Mary A. Gerend, Eric Robinson, Michael Daly, Antonio Terracciano, Perceived weight discrimination and performance in five domains of cognitive function, Journal of Psychosomatic Research, Volume 131, 2020, 109793, ISSN 0022-3999, (
    Keywords: Weight stigma; Neuropsychological tests; Cognitive aging; Psychosocial Stressor;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 15245
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Michael Daly
    Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2022 16:17
    Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Psychosomatic Research
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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