Semester of Graduation

Summer 2022


Master of Arts (MA)



Document Type



The Dual-Factor Model of mental health highlights the need to consider both constructs associated with psychopathology and subjective well-being in relation to clinical outcomes. Harm avoidance, which is associated with behavioral inhibition, has been negatively associated with cognitive change. While subjective well-being has been positively associated with cognition. The current study aimed to examine both constructs in a single model to examine well-being as a moderator of the association of harm avoidance with cognitive decline. A sample of 728 older adults from the Rush University Memory and Aging Project was used. Participants completed batteries of questionnaires and neuropsychological tests at baseline and yearly follow-ups. Mixed effects models were conducted to examine to what degree well-being moderated the association of harm avoidance with cognitive decline across multiple cognitive domains. Well-being was a more unique robust predictor of cognitive change over time. Higher well-being reduced the negative effects of harm avoidance over time for episodic memory. Taken together, the present study offers further support for targeting positive psychological interventions for successful aging.



Committee Chair

Calamia, Matthew