Broadly, our research examines the influence of social and health disparities on cognitive aging in African American adults and has two main objectives:
1) To examine how individual differences in social and health factors influence cognitive aging across the lifespan in African Americans.
2) To develop and implement physical and cognitive health interventions to improve cognitive function and prevent cognitive decline and incipient dementia in African American communities at disproportionate risk.
Current Student Lab Members & Projects:
Kyle Barrentine, Sophomore Psychology Student at North Carolina A&T State University
Barrentine, K., & Aiken-Morgan, A. T. (2017). The Association between Perceived Locus of Control and Self-Reported Depression in Older African American Men.
Ebone´ Clodfelter, Senior Psychology Student at North Carolina A&T State University
Clodfelter, E., & Aiken-Morgan, A. T. (2017). The Relationship between Social Support and Cognition in Older African Americans.
Current Lab Project:
Associations between Physical Activity and Cognitive Function in Low-Income African American Seniors
Despite African Americans suffering from disproportionately higher rates of dementia and hypertension, research has not specifically examined the relationship between physical activity/exercise and cognitive function in this population. The contribution of this research study is to demonstrate that physical activity has a significant relationship with cognitive performance in an African American sample that is at greater risk of having cognitive and cardiovascular health problems. This contribution will be significant because it provides a distinct focus on a high-risk, understudied population with the long-term goal of reducing the cognitive and cardiovascular health problems leading to persistent health disparities observed for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. As the older adult population increases, it becomes a significant public health concern to improve both physical and cognitive health in late life, as well as to reduce persistent health disparities. Decline in physical and cognitive functional status leads to disability and poorer quality of life in old age. Improvements in physical and cognitive status will reduce the individual and societal medical costs associated with disability in older adulthood.
If you are a student and interested in joining our research lab, please contact Dr. Morgan at aamorgan1 [at] ncat.edu.