Date of Graduation

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Education

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Health, Human Performance and Recreation

Advisor

Gray, Michelle

Reader

Fort, Inza

Second Reader

Langsner, Steve

Abstract

Little is known about the correlation between resistance training, muscular strength, and cognition. This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between muscular strength and cognition in older adults. Data were collected for this cross sectional study at Butterfield Trail Village, a retirement community in Northwest Arkansas. Thirty participants, at least 65 years of age, without severe mental impairment were evaluated. Of the 30 participants, 23 females were included in the data analysis. The Stroop Color Test, Trail Making Test, and Dual Task Walking Test difference were used to measure executive cognition. Handgrip dynamometry was used as a measure of strength Three correlation analyses were performed to determine the effect of the independent variable, muscular strength, on the dependent variables, domains of executive cognition (represented in Stroop Color Word, Trail Making, and Dual Task evaluations). Statistical significance was set at 0.05 for each analysis. No significant correlation was found between handgrip strength and Trail Making Tests (r = -.21) or Stroop Color Word (r =.01); the results were not statistically significant (p= .34 and p=.966). Moderate correlation was found between handgrip strength and dual task difference (r=-.41), with a trend for significance (p=.052). Dependence on muscular coordination may account for the correlation between handgrip and dual task walking, a physical proxy-measure of cognition. Overall, there is moderate correlation between muscular strength and dual task walking in older community-dwelling women, but no correlation was found between muscular strength and other measures of cognition.

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