Cognitive resilience in adulthood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A resilience framework for understanding cognitive aging implies a search forfactors that buffer againstexisting risk, enabling one to thrive in what mightotherwise be adverse circumstances. The cascade of biological processes associated with senescence and a cultural context that does not take into account thisbiological imperative each create risk for cognitive decline in later adulthood. Wepropose that (a) engagement, a susained investment in mental stimulation, and(b) personal agency, which enables one to construct a niche for successful lifespan development, constitute the centerpiece of cognitive resilience. Numerousfactors at the level of the individual and the sociocultural context set the stagefor engagement and agency, thereby contributing to life span cognitive resilience, which can in turn impact factors promoting engagement and agency (e.g., healthmanagement, disposition affecting how experience in regulated) to support cognitive growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-114
Number of pages22
JournalAnnual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Aging
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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