Adult Age and Cultural Differences in Performance on the Weekly Calendar Planning Activity (WCPA)

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE. We compared performance on a cognitively demanding task, the Weekly Calendar Planning Activity, of participants in three age groups and two countries (United States and Israel).

METHOD. A sample of 375 U.S. and 433 Israeli healthy adults participated. During the activity, participants were observed for speed, accuracy, strategy use, and efficiency.

RESULTS. Accuracy scores were similar in both countries; however, Israeli participants were slower and less efficient (p < .05). The younger and middle-aged Israeli groups were more strategic and the older Israeli group followed fewer rules than the corresponding U.S. groups (p < .05). Older participants in both countries were less accurate, efficient, and strategic than younger participants (p < .05).

CONCLUSION. Limited strategy use and poor time allocation may contribute to difficulty managing cognitively demanding activities for older adults and may also be influenced by culture. Practitioners should consider these factors when screening people for occupational performance difficulties.

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