Attention, inhibition, and processing speed are related to functional decline among older adults. This study attempts to clarify the relationships between these cognitive factors and adaptive functioning.
We examined relationships between attention, inhibition, and processing speed, with scores on the Texas Functional Living Scale (TFLS), a performance-based measure of daily functioning, in a mixed clinical sample of 530 older adults who were referred for an outpatient neuropsychological evaluation.
The current study used a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to derive a three-factor cognitive model consisting of attention, inhibition, and processing speed. Results from a hierarchical regression, which included factor scores from the CFA, revealed that processing speed was the only significant predictor of TFLS performance when all three cognitive factors were included within a single model.
These results highlight the influence of processing speed as an important indicator of functional decline among a clinical population of older adults.

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