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  • Writer's pictureAlicia Lucendo Noriega

Effect of amateur choir singing on

subjective cognitive functioning, social participation and quality of life across adult life

Objectives. The world population aged over 60 years is estimated to increase to 1.4 billion by 2030. This increasing trend evidences the current need for promoting healthy ways of living and aging. Previous research has studied music as a protective factor for several aspects in aging-associated neurological illnesses. This thesis aims at researching if healthy amateur choir singers and controls across age in adulthood differ in self-reported cognitive functions, social support and quality of life. It is hypothesized that amateur choir singers will report higher values of the three aspects mentioned above. Methods. Participants (N=93) were recruited from two general population groups, amateur choir singers (N = 54) and controls (N = 46), from 3 age groups split as follows: young adults: 20–39 years (N=34, mean = 29.79, SD = 5.65); middle-aged adults: 40–59 years (N=32, mean = 50.31, SD = 6.47); and older adults: 60–90 years (N=27, mean = 69.37, SD = 7.62). Outcome measures were questionnaires on quality of life (WHO-QOL-BREF), social support (Social Provisions Scale, SPS), cognitive functioning (Cognitive Failures Questionnaire, CFQ; Prospective and Retrospective Memory Questionnaire, PRMQ). Statistical analyses were performed with SPSS. Results and conclusions. The variable “total years of education” was included as a covariate when comparing the age groups, due to significant difference in the demographic pre-analysis. When studying the effects of amateur choir singing (choir vs controls), none of the results were significant. In comparing the three age groups (young, middle-aged, old), significant group differences were found in all the domains of theCFQ (cognitive failures) questionnaire except for Names, with young adults scoring higher (indicating more cognitive failures) than the middle-aged and older adults. A significant singing x age interaction was observed in all CFQ domains (except Names) as well as in the Reliable alliance subdomain of the SPS, with choir singers showing a more positive trend (less cognitive failures, more social support) across the age groups compared to the control group. These findings suggest a possible protective effect of amateur choir singing on subjective cognitive and social functioning in aging, which should be further studied.


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