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Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Psychology

Year Degree Awarded

2015

Month Degree Awarded

September

First Advisor

Rebecca Ready

Second Advisor

Michael Constantino

Third Advisor

Linda Isbell

Fourth Advisor

Cynthia Jacelon

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology | Health Psychology

Abstract

As the United States’ population ages, there is a growing need for older adults to screen for age-related memory problems. Four theoretically-derived psychosocial factors are predictive of dementia screening intention: perceived benefits, perceived susceptibility, self-efficacy, and knowledge about aging memory. The current study preliminarily tested whether these factors could be increased with a community-based, educational memory screening intervention. Educational presentations were offered at community senior centers and data on psychosocial factors and willingness to screen were collected pre- and post-presentation from 32 older adult participants (age M = 78.69, SD = 7.12). Perceived benefits and self-efficacy significantly increased from pre- to post-presentation (Perceived benefits F(1,31) = 8.73, p < .01, partial η2= .22; Self-efficacy F(1,30) = 7.52, p < .01, partial η2= .20).. The majority of participants (75%) signed up for memory screens following the presentation. Participants had generally high satisfaction ratings and positive narrative responses about the presentation. Results provide information about how the presentation can be refined to address psychosocial factors and determine if these factors impact willingness to screen for memory. This feasibility and efficacy study represents a step to raising knowledge and awareness of memory and aging issues among older adults in the community.

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