Discourse Processing in Healthy Aging in the United States (ICPSR 36634)

Principal Investigator(s): Harris Wright, Heather, East Carolina University; Capilouto, Gilson J., University of Kentucky


The Discourse Processing in Healthy Aging database provides demographic data, cognitive data (standardized tests of memory and attention), digital media (audio and/or video), and discourse transcriptions for 11 different discourse tasks from nearly 500 participants across the adult lifespan (20 - 90 years old). This study was conducted to identify changes in discourse processing across the adult lifespan and identify why these changes occur. The aims were to document, cross-sectionally, the aspects of discourse most sensitive to healthy aging across the lifespan and to determine if specific changes were task-dependent. Additionally, the study aimed to cross-sectionally document those cognitive operations involved in specific discourse measures shown to be sensitive to age. These data provide researchers and clinicians information for studying memory, attention, and discourse variations across the adult lifespan, allowing for the study of the interactions between these domains and the opportunity to observe complex cognitive/linguistic behaviors. Demographic information includes age, gender, occupation, language spoken, and education.

Access Notes

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


DS1:  Demographic Dataset - Download All Files (3.075 MB)
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DS2:  Cognitive Dataset - Download All Files (3.36 MB)
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Study Description


Harris Wright, Heather, and Gilson J. Capilouto. Discourse Processing in Healthy Aging in the United States. ICPSR36634-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2017-03-02. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36634.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36634.v1

Export Citation:

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  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Aging (R01AG029476)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    aging, demographic characteristics, depression (psychology), health, hearing (physiology), memory, mental health, vision impairment

Smallest Geographic Unit:    None

Geographic Coverage:    Arizona, Kentucky, Lexington, Phoenix, United States

Time Period:   

  • 2007-08--2013-07

Date of Collection:   

  • 2007-09--2012-08

Unit of Observation:    Individual

Universe:    Healthy adult volunteers aged 20-89 who passed an initial screening.

Data Type(s):    experimental data

Data Collection Notes:

This collection integrates media (video and audio) data that are not currently housed at ICPSR. As ICPSR receives these data, they will be made available for user analysis.

The linking variable NEW_ID is a unique ID variable that can be used to link the Demographic Dataset (Part 1) and the Cognitive Dataset (Part 2).


Study Purpose:    The purpose of this study is to determine the impact of age-related changes in memory and attention on the ability to convey a meaningful message.

Study Design:    Participants in the study included healthy adults aged 20 - 89 who passed an initial screening. To be included in the study, participants were required to meet the following inclusionary criteria: aided or unaided visual acuity within normal limits, aided or unaided hearing within functional limits, no presence of depression at time of study participation, normal cognitive functioning, no history of stroke, head injury, or progressive or acquired neurogenic disorder per self report; and English as their first language per self report. For further information on study design please see the Methodology Guide.

Sample:    Convenience sample of healthy adult volunteers who passed an initial screening participated in the study. Please see the Methodology Guide for further information on sampling.

Time Method:    Cross-sectional

Weight:    The data are not weighted and there are no weights present in the collection.

Mode of Data Collection:    face-to-face interview

Response Rates:    100%

Presence of Common Scales:    (MMSE) Mini Mental Status Examination, WMS-III, (GDS) Geriatric Depression Scale-Short form, CTMT, STROOP, Pyramid and Palm Tree Test

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   2017-03-02



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