Life Course Determinants of Cognitive Performance among Older Women and Men in Ismailia, Egypt

Kathryn M. Yount, Emory University
Zeinab Khadr, American University in Cairo

We evaluate the life course determinants of cognitive performance among 913 women and men ≥ 50 years in two districts in Ismailia, Egypt. Egypt is an excellent setting for this research, because girls’ disadvantage in health and family care is well known, yet nothing is known about the consequences of such biases for cognitive functioning in later life. Four research questions motivate this analysis: (1) Do adverse childhood experiences, including low paternal/maternal schooling, low family economic status, ill health, and child marriage or labor have significant net effects on cognitive performance in later life?, (2) Do social, economic, and health-related conditions in middle adulthood modify the effects of childhood experiences on later-life cognitive performance?, (3) Does upward social mobility compensate for (or downward social mobility exacerbate) any adverse effects of childhood disadvantage?, and (4) Do the net and interactive effects of early-life disadvantage vary for women and men?

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Health, Mortality, Aging, Biology