DOI: 10.1002/jocb.637 ISSN: 0022-0175

Creative Activities Among Older Adults and People With Cognitive Impairment

Francisca S. Rodriguez, Sabrina Ross, Josefin Fruck, Saskia Jaarsveld, Thomas Lachmann
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Education


Little is known about creativity in old age. The aim of this study was to investigate to what extent the intensity of engaging in creative activities differs between older and younger people as well as older people with and without cognitive impairment. Moreover, we evaluated associations of creative activities with specific cognitive abilities. For this cross‐sectional study, groups of younger people (n = 24), older cognitively healthy people (n = 24), and older cognitively impaired people (n = 23) were recruited via convenience sampling. Creative activities were assessed via the creative behavior inventory (CBI). Cognitive abilities were assessed via trail making test (TMT), standard progressive matrices (SPM), creative reasoning task (CRT), test of creative thinking‐drawing production (TCT‐DP), and alternate uses task (AUT). The intensity of engaging in creative activities was higher among younger people but was not significantly associated with being cognitively impaired. Only two cognitive abilities, the creative thinking scores CRT‐Components and TCT‐DP‐Original, predicted creative activities. Both did not differ significantly between cognitively healthy and cognitively impaired older adults. The findings suggest that cognitively impaired older people still engage in creative activities, which might be due to their relatively sound creative thinking. Further studies should investigate whether engaging in creative activities can mitigate cognitive decline.

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