Quality of Life Research

, Volume 25, Issue 8, pp 1943–1948 | Cite as

The relevance of memory sensitivity for psychological well-being in aging

  • Enrico Toffalini
  • Erika Borella
  • Cesare Cornoldi
  • Rossana De Beni
Article

Abstract

Purpose

In the present study, we investigated the relationship between memory sensitivity, which describes a positive attitude to autobiographical memory and the presence of behaviors devoted to saving memories of the personal past, and psychological well-being; in particular, we tested whether their relationship would change across age groups.

Methods

Three hundred eighteen participants, divided in four groups: young to middle-aged adults (20–55 years old), young–old adults (65–74 years old), old adults (75–84 years old), and old–old adults (85–97 years old), completed questionnaires on their memory sensitivity and psychological well-being.

Results

Memory sensitivity slightly decreased with age and had a positive relationship with psychological well-being that was critically moderated by age. Specifically, the relationship between memory sensitivity and psychological well-being became increasingly stronger as age increased.

Conclusions

While memory sensitivity may have little or no particular relevance in the case of young to middle-aged adults, it has an increasingly important positive relationship with psychological well-being at later age. It is thus suggested that memory sensitivity represents a dimension that should be considered in the study and interventions on quality of life in the elderly population.

Keywords

Psychological well-being Aging Memory sensitivity Autobiographical memory 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was conducted as part of our routine laboratory activities and received no funding.

Compliance with ethical standards

The authors declare that they have no competing interests. The present study involved only human participants and was conducted in full compliance with the local academic ethical requirements. All participants took part voluntarily in the research and signed an informed consent form before participating.

References

  1. 1.
    Cornoldi, C., De Beni, R., & Helstrup, T. (2007). Memory sensitivity in autobiographical memory. In S. Magnussen & T. Helstrup (Eds.), Everyday memory (pp. 183–199). Hove, UK: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Toffalini, E., Veltri, A., & Cornoldi, C. (2015). Metacognitive aspects influence subjective well-being in parents of children with cancer. Psycho-Oncology, 24, 175–180.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Borella, E., Ghisletta, P., & de Ribaupierre, A. (2011). Age differences in text processing: The role of working memory, inhibition and processing speed. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 66, 311–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Balota, D. A., Dolan, P. O., & Duchek, J. M. (2000). Memory changes in healthy older adults. In E. Tulving & F. I. M. Craik (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of memory (pp. 395–409). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Piolino, P., Desgranges, B., Clarys, D., Guillery-Girard, B., Taconnat, L., Isingrini, M., & Eustache, F. (2006). Autobiographical memory, autonoetic consciousness, and self-perspective in aging. Psychology and Aging, 21(3), 510–525.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Coleman, P. G. (2005). Uses of reminiscence: Functions and benefits. Aging & Mental Health, 9(4), 291–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Zhang, S.-J., Hwu, Y.-J., Wu, P.-I., & Chang, C.-W. (2015). The effects of reminiscence therapy on depression, self-esteem and life satisfaction on institutionalized older adults: A meta-analysis. Journal of Nursing and Healthcare Research, 11(1), 33–42.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bluck, S., & Alea, N. (2011). Crafting the TALE: Construction of a measure to assess the functions of autobiographical remembering. Memory, 19(5), 470–486.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bohlmeijer, E., Roemer, M., Cujpers, P., & Smit, F. (2007). The effects of reminiscence on psychological well-being in older adults: A meta-analysis. Aging & Mental Health, 11(3), 291–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Prebble, S., Addis, D. R., & Tippett, L. J. (2013). Autobiographical memory and sense of self. Psychological Bulletin, 139, 815–840.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Schlagman, S., Schulz, J., & Kvavilashvili, L. (2006). A content analysis of involuntary autobiographical memories: Examining the positivity effect in old age. Memory, 14(2), 161–175.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Singer, J., Rexhaj, B., & Baddeley, J. (2007). Older, wiser, and happier? Comparing older adults’ and college students’ self-defining memories. Memory, 15(8), 886–898.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Fillit, H., & Butler, R. N. (2009). The frailty identity crisis. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 57(2), 348–352.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Mather, M., & Carstensen, L. L. (2005). Aging and motivated cognition: The positivity effect in attention and memory. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9(10), 496–502.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Fastame, M. C., Penna, M. P., Rossetti, E. S., & Agus, M. (2013). Perceived well-being and metacognitive efficiency in life course: A developmental perspective. Research on Aging, 35, 736–749.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    West, R. L., Bagwell, D. K., & Dark-Freudman, A. (2008). Self-efficacy and memory aging: The impact of a memory intervention based on self-efficacy. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, 15, 302–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Carstensen, L. L., Isaacowitz, D. M., & Charles, S. T. (1999). Taking time seriously: A theory of socioemotional selectivity. American Psychologist, 54, 165–181.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Gallina, P., Saugo, M., Antoniazzi, M., Fortuna, P., Toffanin, R., Maggi, S., & Benetollo, P. P. (2006). Validazione della scheda per la valutazione multidimensionale dell’anziano (SVAMA) (Validation of a multidimensional assessment profile for older adults). Tendenze Nuove, 3, 229–263.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Wechsler, D. (1981). WAIS-R manual: Wechsler adult intelligence scale-revised. New York, NY: Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Orsini, A., & Laicardi, C. (2003). WAIS-R e terza età (WAIS-R and third age). Firenze: Organizzazioni Speciali.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    De Beni, R., Borella, E., Carretti, B., Marigo, C., & Nava, L. (2008). BAC. Portfolio per la valutazione del benessere e delle abilità cognitivi e nell’età adulta e avanzata (The assessment of well-being and cognitive abilities in adulthood and aging). Firenze: Giunti OS.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Ryff, C. D. (1984). Psychological well-being in adult life. Current Direction in Psychological Science, 4, 99–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Chambers, J. M. (1993). Linear models. In J. M. Chambers & T. J. Hastie (Eds.), Statistical models in S, chapter 4 (pp. 95–144). London: Chapman & Hall.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Akaike, H. (1974). New look at statistical-model identification. IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 19, 716–723.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Jones, B. L. (2012). The challenge of quality care for family caregivers in pediatric cancer care. Seminars in Oncology Nursing, 28(4), 213–220.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Pasupathi, M., & Carstensen, L. L. (2003). Age and emotional experience during mutual reminiscing. Psychology and Aging, 18, 430–442.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Westerhof, G., & Bohlmeijer, E. (2012). Life stories and mental health: The role of identification processes in theory and interventions. Narrative Works: Issues, Investigations and Interventions, 2, 106–128.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Borella, E., Carretti, B., Riboldi, F., & De Beni, R. (2010). Working memory training in older adults: Evidence of transfer and maintenance effects. Psychology and Aging, 25, 767–778.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Enrico Toffalini
    • 1
  • Erika Borella
    • 1
  • Cesare Cornoldi
    • 1
  • Rossana De Beni
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of General PsychologyUniversity of PadovaPaduaItaly

Personalised recommendations