Older adults often experience varying levels of cognitive decline. Several interventions intended to help slow the effects of cognitive decline have been studied, including cognitive training. Cognitive training involves engaging individuals, typically in a group setting, in exercises that target specific cognitive domains, such as attention, perceptual speed, memory, language, and executive functioning. Literature on cognitive training provides mixed support for its efficacy. The purpose of the current study was to determine whether a manualized, in-person cognitive training program for individuals with mild to moderate cognitive decline would lead to an improvement in cognitive performance. The program targeted six cognitive domains and was administered for 12 weeks at a local residential facility for retired nuns. Participants were assessed before the cognitive training course, after the course, and at a 12-week follow-up period. The results of this study did not support the use of cognitive training for improving functioning on most domains, but participants did see improvement on some assessments intended to measure the domains of global cognitive functioning, attention/concentration, working memory, visual memory, and visual/spatial skills. However, this study had some crucial limitations, such as having a very small, homogeneous sample size and thus, definitive conclusions should not be drawn from these findings.


Jeffrey Buchanan

Committee Member

Donald Ebel

Committee Member

Karla Lassonde

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)




Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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