Hawai‘i Family Study on Cognition


Principal Investigator:
Jane Onoye, Ph.D.
Earl Hishinuma, Ph.D.

Abstract of Mission/Goals:
The Hawaiʻi Family Study of Cognition (HFSC) was originally conducted between 1972 and 1976. It included over 6500 individuals, including parents and children, from over 1800 families living in Hawaiʻi at the time. Participants in the HFSC were measured on a wide variety of domains, including cognition and personality. The HFSC was unique for using a broad and comprehensive battery of cognitive tests, the large number of minority Americans in the study, organization of data by families, and several retestings of selected individuals over decades. There was short- term retesting with some families (also known as Session B) that took place in 1975, and longer term retesting between 1987 and 1988 (Session C) with a subset of the children from the original study. Currently, in preparation for a larger follow-up study, we are conducting several small studies to obtain current contact information for all living participants of the HFSC, and retesting selected individuals on measures of cognition, family, and health. The purpose of the HFSC is to examine three generations of families measured on the critically important variables of family structure/dynamics, cognition, health/well-being, with the first two generations measured at approximately the same ages in adulthood.

Funding Period:

Total Number of Years:
40+ years

Funding Source:
National Science Foundation Grant GB-34720
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Grant HD-06669
National Institute on Aging
University of Southern California

Key Personnel/Staff:
Prior HFSC investigators and staff:
Dr. G.C. Ashton, University of Hawai‘i
Dr. M.P. Mi, University of Hawai‘i
Dr. R.C. Johnson (deceased), University of Hawai‘i
Dr. M.N. Rashad, University of Hawai‘i
Dr. J.C. DeFries, University of Colorado
Dr. G.E. McClearn, University of Colorado
Dr. S.G. Vandenberg (deceased), University of Colorado
Dr. J.R. Wilson, University of Colorado
Other project members included:
Dr. Frank Ahern, HFSC data manager, currently Pennsylvania State University
Craig Nagoshi, currently Arizona State University

Current HFSC investigators and staff:
Jane Onoye, Ph.D., University of Hawai‘i
Earl Hishinuma, Ph.D., University of Hawai‘i
Junji Takeshita, M.D., University of Hawai‘i
John J. McArdle, Ph.D., University of Southern California
Fumiaki Hamagami, Ph.D., Longitudinal Research Institute, LLC
Alan Zonderman, Ph.D., National Institute on Aging, Intramural Lifespan, Cognition, and Health Section
Janine Bumanglag, B.S., University of Hawai‘i

Selected Accomplishments, Publications, Key Findings, etc.:
Among the many results, the HFSC is noted for finding large individual differences in cognitive profiles within families as compared to across families. The HFSC has published over 50 scientific articles on different aspects of cognition and personality. For a complete list, visit the HFSC website at http://blog.hawaii.edu/hfsc/.

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