Depressed mood and cognitive deficits as distinct mechanisms of subjective memory and executive complaints
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Department of Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology, Institute of Psychology, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland
Provincial Specialist Hospital, Biała Podlaska, Poland
Submission date: 2018-04-02
Final revision date: 2018-06-26
Acceptance date: 2018-12-14
Online publication date: 2019-01-28
Publication date: 2019-03-01
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2019;7(1):43–52
Subjective cognitive decline (SCD) is the sense of deterioration in cognitive functioning in terms of memory, executive function, attention, etc. SCD is reported by nearly 70% of the population. Very intensive research on the predictive role of SCD in the development of dementia and determinants SCD did not bring common solutions. For exploration of the phenomenon, studies were undertaken in order to identify: a) on the basis of which factors a high level of SCD can be predicted, and b) whether these factors have similar prognostic value for two types of SCD, i.e. concerning executive function (SED) and memory (SMD).

Participants and procedure:
The study involved 274 Polish people aged 18 to 84 years (M = 53.23, SD = 16.8). For the evaluation of SCD three methods were used: memory self-assessment scales (ProCog and MARS), and an executive functions self-assessment scale (DEX-S). Subtests of the WAIS-PL to assess cognitive function were used, and GDS-15 or BECK II to assess the severity of depressive mood. In the first stage, two separate cluster analyses (k-means method) were performed: the first related to the results of the memory self-assessment scale (ProCog and MARS), the second to the subjective difficulty of executive functions (DEX-S). In step II a logistic regression analysis of the forward selection with the likelihood ratio and interaction effects was performed – separately for the two types of self-reports.

The results indicate that higher depressed mood increases the likelihood of both the SMD and SED. Higher efficiency attention-al processes reduce the possibility of formulating the SED, and higher efficiency of the delayed memory, abstract thinking, or certain aspects of language functions reduces the possibility of SMD.

There are two independent mechanisms of SCD – emotional and cognitive.

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