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Effects of Enriching Working Environments on Adult Cognitive Development

March 20 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Human Development Seminar Series

Effects of Enriching Working Environments on Adult Cognitive Development
Does older Latino adults’ cognitive health benefit from their working environments?

Sandra P. Arévalo, Ph.D. will present a study on Latino elders, who have a higher onset of cognitive decline and a greater prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias compared to non-Latino whites. With the projected increase of the Latino older population, 20.0% of the 65-84y old population by 2050, the purpose of this study was to examine the role of enriching working environments on cognitive function in older Latinos. Analysis reveals that, controlling for sociodemographic characteristics, chronic physical health conditions and depressive symptoms, Enriched Work Environments were not associated with participant’s changes on their cognitive trajectories over time. Education and enriched working environments and occupational complexity have shown to have protective effects on late-life cognition. However, this protective effect may not occur equally across diverse older groups due to the dissimilar economic and social rates of return of education by race and/or ethnicity in the U.S. This study holds promise in driving public policies and programs to reduce gaps in education, employment, and earnings among Latinos in the U.S.

Dr. Arévalo is Assistant Professor of Human Development at CSULB. She is a sociologist with expertise in health disparities, stress-health associations, and bio-psycho-social and cultural models of health. She received a BA in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts at Boston, a MA and PhD in Sociology from Northeastern University. She completed postdoctoral training in Nutritional Epidemiology in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Center for Population Health and Health Disparities at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and at the USC Edward R. Roybal Institute of Aging at the University of Southern California.


March 20
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm