J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2004 Dec;8(2):113-120.

Literacy and Neuropsychological Functions in the Older Korean Adults

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychology, Sungshin Women's University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Psychology, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea. jychey@snu.ac.kr

Abstract


OBJECTIVES
This study examined the effects of illiteracy on neuropsychological functions of older Korean adults. Illiteracy was evaluated with the Literacy Questionnaire which involved interview with the subjects.
METHODS
The participants were 206 healthy people, ages between 55 and 84, who were sampled in the Seoul-Kyungki region and Chungnam province.
RESULTS
The results revealed that verbal memory tests were not disadvantageous to illiterate people. Rather non-verbal tasks such as the copy condition of the Simple Rey Figure Test and the Clock Drawing Test proved disadvantageous.
CONCLUSION
Literacy appears to be beneficial to the development of visuospatial abilities. Neuropsychological tests that involve visuospatial function may not be efficient in discriminating dementia patients who are illiterate.

Keyword

Literacy; Illiterate; Neuropsychological test; Dementia; Clock Drawing Test
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