Date of Award


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Degree Name

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Committee Chair

Michael Daniel, PhD

Second Advisor

BJ Scott, PsyD


Objective: While memory tests are designed to measure the ability to store and retrieve information, other non-memory cognitive abilities are required to perform these tasks. Demographic factors also impact memory test performance. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of non-memory cognitive abilities and demographic variables on memory test performance in a clinical sample. Method: Participants were 105 patients (54.3% female), average age = 46.83 (14.38), average education = 13.83 (2.36), who completed neuropsychological evaluation. Stepwise regression analyses were conducted to determine which non-memory cognitive abilities and demographic factors accounted for the most unique variance in performance on commonly used memory tests. Results: Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System Trails Switching accounted for 22-33% of the variance in trials of the California Verbal Learning Test-II. Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, Fourth Edition (WAIS-IV) Matrix Reasoning subtest accounted for 11-12% of the variance in Logical Memory I and II from the Wechsler Memory Scale, Fourth Edition (WMS-IV). WAIS-IV Block Design accounted for 24% of the variance in WMS-IV Visual Reproduction I and II and 25-29% of the variance in the recall trials of the Rey Complex Figure Test. Conclusions: Non-memory cognitive abilities have a stronger influence on memory test performance than demographic factors. In particular, executive functions are most strongly associated with auditory-verbal memory performance, while visual-spatial/construction abilities are most strongly associated with visual-graphic memory performance. When interpreting memory test performance, it is important to be cognizant of these non-memory cognitive influences.

Available for download on Friday, November 16, 2018