A influência da reserva cognitiva, do envolvimento social e do estado de humor, nas funções executivas em pessoas idosas saudáveis

Translated title of the thesis: The influence of cognitive reserve, social involvement and state of humor, on executive functions in healthy elderly individuals
  • Mariana Pereira dos Santos de Carvalho Barros (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Introduction: The study of normal cognitive aging has shown increasing importance since cognitive decline is one of the main causes of vulnerability of the nervous system, especially in the prefrontal cortex, leading to changes in Executive Functions. These functions are of high importance in the daily life of any individual, with an essential role in daily tasks, being vulnerable to decline at earlier ages and more accentuated from the age of 70. One of the main factors related to aging and that has an influence on Executive Functions is Cognitive Reserve which allows subjects with greater reserve to be able to deal with the same amount of injury more efficiently through the use of different cognitive strategies. Among the main indicators associated with Cognitive Reserve are those assessed by the Cognitive Reserve Index questionnaire (CRIq), which is the one of the most frequently used instruments for quantifying cognitive reserve. In addition to these 3 factors, School, Work and Leisure Time, some constructs such as Social Engagement and Mood State have also been mentioned. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to verify the contribution of each factor, School, Work, Leisure Time, Social Involvement and Mood in the Executive Functions of cognitively healthy elderly individuals. Methodology: The sample of this study, non-randomized by convenience, was composed of 30 participants considered cognitively healthy, aged between 60 and 88 years. Three questionnaires were used, the CRIq, the POMS, the QSS2 and 4 neuropsychological tests, TMT A and B, Stroop, Digits and Symbols and Sequence of Letters and Numbers, and Multiple Linear Regressions were performed. Results: The model did not prove to be significant for the overall sample, but it was significant for individuals aged 70 years and over and it was found that the independent variables that had a significant contribution were Leisure Time, Social Engagement and Mood State, however Social Engagement had a contribution contrary to what was expected. Conclusions: Cognitive Reserve seems to have a positive influence on executive performance, as described in the literature, and the indicators Leisure Time, Social Engagement and Mood State contributed significantly to explain the variability of scores in Executive Functions, particularly in older adults, which corroborates with some previous studies, on the other and Education and Working Activity did not contribute significantly.
Date of Award6 Dec 2023
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorMaria Vânia Silva Nunes (Supervisor)


  • Cognitive reserve
  • Executive functions
  • CRI-LeisureTime
  • Social engagement
  • Mood states


  • Mestrado em Neuropsicologia

Cite this