Date of Award:

5-2008

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

JoAnn Tschanz

Abstract

The metacognitive skills of elderly individuals were examined using a brief, seven-item questionnaire. The construct validity of the questionnaire was examined using two forms of external criteria, the Modified Mini-Mental State Exam (3MS), and informant reports of functional ability. Analysis of Cronbach’s alpha coefficients suggested moderate levels of internal consistency for the questionnaire (alpha = .75). Factor analysis (principal components) revealed two factors, one functional and one cognitive. Multiple regression analyses demonstrated that the metacognition questionnaire did not significantly predict 3MS change over a 3-year interval. Logistic regression analyses demonstrated that the metacognition questionnaire significantly predicted informant ratings. The metacognition questionnaire differentially predicted both outcome scores within dementia and no-dementia subgroups. These results provide support for the construct validity of the questionnaire. Future studies will examine the efficacy of brief questionnaires to measure unawareness in the elderly and continue to examine the differences in unawareness between demented and nondemented individuals.

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