SUCCESS IN PHYSICAL REHABILITATION IN THE YOUNG-OLD AND OLD-OLD AS A FUNCTION OF CRYSTALLIZED AND FLUID INTELLIGENCE

ANNE WOLF OSTROFF, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship of patterns of intellectual functioning to rehabilitation success in two groups of elderly rehabilitation patients, the young-old and the old-old with the goal of helping to identify variables of potential significance in predicting rehabilitation success in the elderly. Two dimensions of intelligence, fluid (Gf) and crystallized (Gc), proposed by Cattell and Horn (Cattell, 1941, 1963; Horn, 1968, 1970; Horn & Cattell, 1966, 1967) were measured in these two age groups in relation to rehabilitation success. Gf is described as the dimension of intelligence which is largely the result of heredity, physiology and incidental learning, whereas Gc is described as the dimension of intelligence which is largely the result of acculturation.^ Subjects were consecutive inpatient admissions to the rehabilitation program at St. Barnabas Hospital or the amputee unit of the Helen Hayes Hospital who were 55 years of age or older and had diagnoses of fractures, amputations, or related disabilities. They were medically stable, English speaking, testable in terms of cooperation and reliable scores, and had not suffered a cerebrovascular accident. The 20 patients aged 62-74 comprised the young-old, and the 20 patients aged 75-91 comprised the old-old.^ Crystallized intelligence was assessed by Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) Verbal Scale and Primary Mental Abilities Verbal Meaning Subtest. Fluid intelligence was assessed by WAIS Performance Scale and Raven Coloured Progressive Matrices. The Physical Self-Maintenance Scale (Lawton & Brody, 1969) was used to assess predicted and achieved functional levels. Rehabilitation success was evaluated by the relationship of achieved to predicted PSMS scores. Motivation in rehabilitation was measured by a 5-item True-False scale (Hyman, 1972).^ The procedure involved individual testing of each patient before therapy began and within the first two weeks of admission. At that time intellectual measures and independent measurement of pre-rehabilitation and predicted PSMS were obtained. Achieved PSMS and motivation were measured prior to discharge, after rehabilitation was complete.^ Results of this study indicated that fluid intelligence was positively correlated with rehabilitation success in geriatric rehabilitation patients, that crystallized intelligence scores were higher than fluid intelligence scores in the young-old rehabilitation patients, and that fluid intelligence scores were higher in the young-old than in the old-old. The nonsignificance of correlations made it meaningless to test the notion that fluid intelligence scores would be more highly correlated with rehabilitation success in geriatric rehabilitation patients than crystallized intelligence scores, but results indicated a trend in this direction. Results did not support the notions that crystallized intelligence would be positively correlated with rehabilitation success in geriatric rehabilitation patients, that old-old rehabilitation patients would have less rehabilitation success than the young-old, and that motivation would be positively correlated with rehabilitation success and with measures of fluid and crystallized intelligence in geriatric rehabilitation patients. ^

Subject Area

Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

OSTROFF, ANNE WOLF, "SUCCESS IN PHYSICAL REHABILITATION IN THE YOUNG-OLD AND OLD-OLD AS A FUNCTION OF CRYSTALLIZED AND FLUID INTELLIGENCE" (1981). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8111314.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8111314

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