Biography

*** Dr. Paulson is considering applicants as a major advisor for the program start date of August 2024. ***

Broadly speaking, we work to conceptualize the relationships between mood, cognition, and medical and functional aspects of health in ways that are informative to the evolving needs of mental health and medical professionals delivering integrated care to older adults. The American population is rapidly aging, with enormous growth of the population over age 65. Improving our understanding of adverse developmental and clinical trajectories has become a significant public health concern. In addition, depression throughout the lifespan is a major public health burden. Indeed, depression is broadly associated with adverse health outcomes including frailty, dementia, loss of independence, and increased mortality.  Recently, we have turned our attention to the relationship between alcohol use, inflammatory markers, and health outcomes.

Indeed, many older adults experience increasing levels of support from friends and family.  Caregiving of older adults with life-limiting conditions is becoming increasingly common as the American population ages. Over 42 million Americans provide care to adults with limitations, and over 60 million provide functional support to another adult at some point each year. The economic value of informal caregiving is estimated at over $450 billion annually. Elder care in general is emerging as a critical public healthcare issue, with informal caregiving as one key aspect. Many older adults prefer to age in place, and despite the escalating challenges associated with aging and dementia care, many family members wish to provide in-home support for as long as possible.  To promote these efforts, much of our research and clinical work focuses on caregiving relationships and caregiver support groups.

In summary, our research represents the intersection of gerontology, health psychology, and clinical neuropsychology with an emphasis on depression, cognition, and caregiving.

*CV Upon Request

Publications

Paulson, D., McClure, N., Wharton, T., Genderon, E. (In Press). Caregiver Preparedness: A therapeutic mechanism and moderating factor on outcomes for the Savvy Caregiver Program. The Gerontologist.

 

*Maynard, M., Paulson, D., Dunn, M., Dvorak, R. (In Press). Relationship between cannabis use

and immediate, delayed, and working memory performance among older adults. Cannabis.

 

Lichtenberg, P. A., Paulson, D., Han, D. S. (2020). Examining health and wealth correlates of perceived financial vulnerability: A normative study. Innovation in Aging. 4, 4.

 

*Barman, M. S., Paulson, D. (2022). Piloting a dementia caregiver intervention in a primary care setting. The Clinical Gerontologist. 45 (4), 998-1009.

 

*Scott, R. G., *Weiner, C., Paulson, D. (2021). Functional limitation in later- life: The impact of sips, socialization, and sadness. Age and Ageing, 25 (11), 2061-2067.

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