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1960 年代初頭に米国の高校に通っていた 2,200 人以上の成人を対象とした研究では、質の高い学校に通うと 60 年後に認知機能が向上することがわかりました。 この研究は、学校の質、特に黒人の子供を対象とする学校に投資することで、米国の高齢者の認知的健康を改善できる可能性があることを示唆しています。

1960 年代初頭に米国の高校に通った 2,200 人以上の成人を対象とした調査では、質の高い学校で教育を受けた人は 60 年後に認知能力が向上したことが明らかになりました。


「私たちの研究は、質の高い教育と晩年の認知能力の向上との関連性を確立し、学校、特に黒人の子供たちにサービスを提供する学校への投資の増加が、米国の高齢者の認知的健康を改善するための強力な戦略になる可能性があることを示唆しています。」神経心理学教授のジェニファー・マンリー博士は次のように述べています。[{” attribute=””>Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and senior author of the study.

Study details

The study, led by Manly and Dominika Šeblová, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research scientist at Columbia, used data from Project Talent, a 1960 survey of high school students across the United States, and follow-up data collected in the Project Talent Aging Study.

The researchers examined relationships between six indicators of school quality and several measures of cognitive performance in participants nearly 60 years after they left high school.

Since high-quality schools may be especially beneficial for people from disadvantaged backgrounds, the researchers also examined whether associations differed by geography, sex/gender, and race and ethnicity (the survey only included sufficient data from Black and white respondents).

Teacher training linked to late-life cognition in students

The researchers found that attending a school with a higher number of teachers with graduate training was the most consistent predictor of better later-life cognition, especially language fluency (for example, coming up with words within a category). Attending a school with a high number of graduate-level teachers was approximately equivalent to the difference in cognition between a 70-year-old and someone who is one to three years older. Other indicators of school quality were associated with some, but not all, measures of cognitive performance.

Manly and Šeblová say many reasons may explain why attending schools with well-trained teachers may affect later-life cognition. “Instruction provided by more experienced and knowledgeable teachers might be more intellectually stimulating and provide additional neural or cognitive benefits,” Šeblová says, “and attending higher-quality schools may also influence life trajectory, leading to university education and greater earnings, which are in turn linked to better cognition in later life.”

Greater impact on Black students

Though the associations between school quality and late-life cognition were similar between white and Black students, Black participants were more likely to have attended schools of lower quality.

“Racial equity in school quality has never been achieved in the United States and school racial segregation has grown more extreme in recent decades, so this issue is still a substantial problem,” says Manly.

For example, a 2016 survey found that U.S. schools attended by non-white students had twice as many inexperienced teachers as schools attended by predominantly white students.

“Racial inequalities in school quality may contribute to persistent disparities in late-life cognitive outcomes for decades to come,” Manly adds.

The study was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic, the PRIMUS Research Programme at Charles University, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Alzheimer’s Association.

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