Age‐related sex differences in verbal memory

Margit L. Bleecker, Karen Bolla‐Wilson, Jacqueline Agnew, Deborah A. Meyers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

205 Scopus citations


Verbal learning and memory were studied in 196 healthy men and women aged 40 to 89. The Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Task (RAVLT), a 15‐word list, was presented over five trials followed by free recall after each trial. A recognition trial of 50 words subsequently was administered. A stepwise regression that examined the contributions of age, sex, and vocabulary on the five trials of the RAVLT showed that age and sex accounted for a significant portion of the variance on each trial. Vocabulary accounted for a significant portion of the variance only on trials 4 and 5. The recognition trial was not affected by age, sex, or vocabulary. Men had lower scores overall as compared to women. In the older age group (ages 66‐89), this difference was significant on trials two through five. Possible mechanisms that may underlie these age‐related sex differences in learning curves are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-411
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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