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The Health Promotion and Risk Reduction Research Center

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HealthPARC Study of Cognitive Aging (S.O.C.A.)
Principal Investigator: Regina C. Sims, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator: Denee T. Mwendwa, Ph.D.

Study details

S.O.C.A. is a cross-sectional study of age-related differences in cognitive function in middle age and older adult African Americans. The study aims to address the following research questions:

1) Do cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension and obesity influence cognitive abilities such as memory and processing speed?
2) Do psychosocial influences such as depression and discrimination have a negative influence on cognitive function?
3) Do psychosocial influences such as social support and mindfulness have a protective role in cognitive function?
4) Are psychosocial factors predictive of blood pressure and weight outcomes?

Study protocol
Click here for a list of study variables and measures

The S.O.C.A. protocol is completed in the HealthPARC lab in the Department of Psychology at Howard University or at private residences where participant mobility is limited.Participantscan expect tocomplete the following activities:

-Informed consent to participate in study
-Completion of demographic screener and health background questionnaire
-Measurement of blood pressure, height, weight, and waist and hip circumference
-Completion of face-to-face activities with graduate students to measure cognitive processes
-Completion of paper-and-pencil measures of mood, stress, social support, discrimination, eating behaviors, and other factors

Participant eligibility

S.O.C.A. participation criteria:

-Must be African American and age 40 or older
-Must reside in the greater Washington, DC metropolitan area
-Must NOT have a history of dementia, traumatic brain injury, or recent stroke