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The Lasting Impact of High School Quality on Cognition 60 Years Later (neurosciencenews.com)

 

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Summary: A new study has established a connection between late-life cognition and the quality of education a person was able to access in high school. Sampling over 2000 people who attended high school in the 1960s, researchers found those who had a better educational high school experience performed better in tests of cognitive function later in life than those who had attended a poorer quality high school.

The findings could help improve current educational standards and suggest focusing on the quality of high school education can have a significant, beneficial impact on cognition throughout life, especially for minorities who are more likely to attend schools with a lower educational quality.

Key Facts:

  1. Attending high-quality schools has been linked to better cognitive function 60 years later in adulthood, according to a study of over 2,200 adults who attended US high schools in the early 1960s.
  2. The study found that the most consistent predictor of better late-life cognition was attending a school with a higher number of teachers with graduate training, which was associated with improved language fluency. Other indicators of school quality were associated with some, but not all, measures of cognitive performance.
  3. The researchers suggest that increasing investment in schools, particularly those serving Black children, could be a powerful strategy to improve cognitive health among older adults in the US. Racial inequalities in school quality may contribute to persistent disparities in late-life cognitive outcomes for decades to come.

Source: Columbia University

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