Date of Award

Spring 8-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Gerontology Institute

First Advisor

Dr. Elisabeth Burgess

Second Advisor

Dr. Ann Pearman

Third Advisor

Dr. Candace Kemp


Some loss in memory is considered a part of normal aging; however, there is a considerable heterogeneity in cognitive aging among older adults. Studies show that living arrangements, social interaction, social relationships and size of social network are among the predictors of memory decline for older adults. Moreover, marriage has been associated with physiological health as well as psychological and social well-being. This study has examined the relationship between the marital status and memory performance in older adults. It was hypothesized that (1) being married will be positively related to memory of older adults; (2) participants with larger supportive social network will perform better on memory tests; and (3) that quality of married life will be positively related to memory for married older adults. Results from this study did not support the hypotheses when age was controlled suggesting no relationship between marital status and memory performance.