Social relations and risk factors for cognitive health decline – UROP Spring Symposium 2021

Social relations and risk factors for cognitive health decline

Maham Adnan


Pronouns: she/her/hers

Research Mentor(s): Toni Antonucci, Professor
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Psychology and Institute for Social Research, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 4 (2pm-2:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 9
Presenter: 1

Event Link


Research has documented that physical and mental health outcomes (e.g., having diabetes, stress, depression) can increase risk for cognitive health decline. Other studies, however, have shown that more negative (i.e., demanding) relationships can lead to worse perceived emotional well being yet better cognitive health. To help better understand the ways in which social relationships may protect or contribute to cognitive health decline this study aims to examine how negative and positive relationship quality are associated with physical and mental health outcomes. This study uses data from the Detroit Community Study (N=907), which were collected in 2016. Descriptive, bivariate, and multivariate analyses will be conducted to examine study research questions. Data analyses for this study are not yet complete, however, based on previous research it is hypothesized that those who report more negative relationships will be less likely to have diabetes, but report more stress and experience more depressive symptoms. In contrast, it is hypothesized that more positive relationships will be linked with decreased odds of having diabetes as well as lower stress and depressive symptoms. Given that specific chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, stress, and depression are known risk factors of cognitive decline, understanding the complex ways in which social relations affect these factors can help guide development of interventions aimed at promoting cognitive health.

Authors: Maham Adnan
Research Method: Survey Research

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