Investigating the structure and age invariance of episodic memory across the adult lifespan

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episodic memory, aging, structural equation modeling, invariance


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The structure of episodic memory was investigated by assessing different modalities of material (verbal, figural, and spatial) and different types of tests (recall, cued recall, and recognition). A 3-factor model that distinguished among modalities of material was found to be the best representation of memory and the verbal, figural, and spatial memory factors exhibiting construct validity. This 3-factor modality of material model also demonstrated configural, metric, and structural age invariance across a sample of adults (N = 327) between the ages of 18 and 94. There was evidence that latent constructs corresponding to recall, cued recall, and recognition could be distinguished from one another within the verbal domain but not within the figural and spatial domains. A mediation model examining the retrieval constructs was examined within the verbal domain, and there were unique age-related influences on cued recall and recall performance. This result is consistent with findings that increased age is associated with increased difficulty in retrieving information.

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