Date of Graduation
This study was designed to investigate factors that influence a traineeâ€™s pursuit of geropsychology training in effort to identify ways of attracting students to a promising area of research and practice. Researchers have indicated that the older adult population is a heterogeneous group whose numbers will increase significantly over the next 30 years. This changing age demographic is predicted to have a considerable impact on applied psychology by amplifying the need for psychologists trained in providing services to older adults. However, few psychologists have received such training, and few students elect to pursue training in aging. This study utilized a path model to examine the influence of a psychology traineeâ€™s personal experiences, previous clinical training, coursework in aging, knowledge of aging and mental health, attitudes toward older adults, and interest in geropsychology on the pursuit of geropsychology training at the internship level. A total of 409 psychology trainees either (a) completing internship the 2005-2006 training year (interns; n = 238) or (b) registered to begin internship in 2006-2007 (prospective interns; n = 171) completed a 96-item web-based survey in response to an email request for participation by the investigator. Group comparisons yielded no significant differences between interns and prospective interns among any of the variables within the model, with the exception of geropsychology training. Path analysis of interns revealed personal experience did not make a significant contribution to the model and was consequently excluded. All remaining pathways in the adjusted model were statistically significant, but attitudes toward older adults were not related to geropsychology training. Findings revealed prior clinical training and coursework in aging were positively correlated and predictive of interest in geropsychology. Greater clinical training, greater knowledge of aging and mental health, and greater interest in geropsychology were predictive of completing more aging-related training at the internship level. Overall, data indicated that few psychology trainees obtained significant academic or internship training regarding older adults, and the majority of these reported experiences were with the young-old (65-74). These findings are discussed with respect to previous research and implications for training and future practices with older adults.
Gordon, Brian Heath, "Geropsychology training: A national survey of psychology trainees." (2007). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8936.