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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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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