Association between Screen Hours and Cognitive Function in Older Adults

5 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2016

See all articles by Kristen Dodd

Kristen Dodd

Howard University College of Medicine

Richard Gillum

Howard University

Thomas Obisesan

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: April 13, 2016

Abstract

Few studies have examined TV viewing and cognitive function in older adults. We examined the association between screen hours and cognitive function in older adults in a large national US survey. We used NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) 1999-2002 data. Cognitive function was measured in persons aged 60 and older using the DSST (Digit Symbol Substitution Test). Participants were asked “Over the past days, on a typical day how much time altogether did you spend on a typical day sitting and watching TV or videos or using a computer outside of work? Would you say…< 1 hour, 1 hour…4 hours, 5 hours or more, or none”. Education was recoded to < high school, high school/GED, and > high school. Unweighted results below will be confirmed using weights. Among 2,800 persons with complete data, a one-way ANOVA of mean DSST scores showed significant variation among screen hours. A two-way ANOVA with screen hours and education showed a significant association of both with DSST score and a significant interaction of screen hours with education level. A linear regression (dependent variable = DSST score) of the number of screen hours, age, and gender showed no significant association with the screen hours entered as a continuous variable (test for trend p= 0.305) controlling for age and gender. Within levels of education, a linear regression of screen hours, age, and gender showed no significant linear association of screen hours with DSST score. In conclusion, we did not find a significant linear association between the number of screen hours and cognitive function.

Keywords: screen hours, cognitive function, cognition, aging

JEL Classification: I1, I12, J14

Suggested Citation

Dodd, Kristen and Gillum, Richard and Obisesan, Thomas, Association between Screen Hours and Cognitive Function in Older Adults (April 13, 2016). Howard Law Research Paper No. 16-10, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2824954 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2824954

Kristen Dodd (Contact Author)

Howard University College of Medicine ( email )

Howard University College of Medicine
520 W St. NW
Washington, DC 20059
United States

Richard Gillum

Howard University ( email )

2900 Van Ness Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
United States

Thomas Obisesan

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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