Gender role stereotypes, patriarchal attitudes, and cognitive function in the elderly rural Korean population: A cross-sectional study

Hye Rin Choi, Byeonggwan Ha, Ye Jin Jeon, Yoosik Youm, Hyeon Chang Kim, Sun Jae Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: We analyzed whether gender role stereotypes (GRS) and patriarchal attitudes are associated with cognitive function in an elderly community. METHODS: We analyzed data from 580 people enrolled in the Korean Social Life, Health, and Aging Project. The degrees to which respondents held stereotypical beliefs about gender roles and had patriarchal mindsets were measured using a questionnaire. Based on participants’ responses, we divided respondents into 2 groups—those with conservative mindsets and those with open mindsets—according to the median score for each of the 2 variables. Cognitive function was assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination, Korean version (MMSE-K). Cognitive impairment was defined as an MMSE-K score ≤ 21 points. Multivariable logistic regression was performed, adjusting for gender, age, socio-demographic and lifestyle factors, and social network size. Age and lifestyle factors were stratified. RESULTS: Compared to those with open mindsets, those with conservative mindsets regarding gender roles and patriarchal norms had adjusted odds ratios of 1.88 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.11 to 3.19) and 1.67 (95% CI, 1.00 to 2.79) for cognitive impairment, respectively. In the stratified analysis, subgroups with younger age and a good lifestyle maintained a protective association with cognitive impairment. CONCLUSIONS: GRS and a patriarchal mindset were marginally significantly associated with cognitive impairment among women later in life.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021023
JournalEpidemiology and health
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a faculty research grant of Yonsei University College of Medicine for 2019 (6-2019-0114) and Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (NRF-2020R1C1C1003502).

Publisher Copyright:
2021, Korean Society of Epidemiology

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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