"When their reasoning abilities matched the demands of their job, older adults experienced fewer health issues and worked longer than adults who did not have the necessary reasoning abilities to perform their job," said Margaret Beier, PhD, of Rice University and lead author of the study. "Experienced workers offer much in terms of knowing the company culture and being able to mentor younger employees, so it is vital that we look into the best ways to extend their careers and improve their health outcomes."
The study was published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.
Proportion - Adults - Workforce - Beier - Co-authors
With a growing proportion of older adults in the workforce, Beier and her co-authors wanted to learn about the factors involved in maintaining health and determining when people choose to retire.
The authors used a subset of data from the Cognition and Aging in the USA survey, collected between 2007 and 2014 from 383 participants who remained in the study for the full seven years. The survey looked at a variety of factors, but the authors used the data collected on participants' abilities, health and retirement status over the course of the survey for this study. At the start of the survey, participants were all at least 51 years old. The average age was 61.
Researchers - Ability - Combination - Measures - Analogies
Researchers measured cognitive ability using a combination of 13 different measures, including verbal analogies (e.g., they were given three words of an analogy and must name the fourth), number series (e.g., they look at a number series and find the one missing) and calculations. The researchers also measured demands from jobs using the O*NET database, which reports the knowledge, skills, abilities and other attributes needed for many jobs in the United States. Participants were also asked to report if they had any of nine health conditions, including high blood pressure, arthritis, diabetes and lung...
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