Dr. Paulson is considering applicants as a major advisor for the program start date of August 2023.

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.


Wiener, C. H., Cassisi, J. E., Paulson, D. Husson, O. Gupta, R. A. (In Press). Information support,
illness perceptions, and distress in survivors of differentiated thyroid cancer. Journal of Health Psychology.

*Scott, R. G., Paulson, D. (In Press). Cerebrovascular burden and depressive symptomatology
interrelate over 18 years: Support for vascular depression theory. International Journal of Geriatric

*Scott, R. G., Paulson, D. (In Press). Independent effects of ApoE and cerebrovascular burden on later-life
depression: The Wisconsin Longitudinal Study. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Wharton, T., Paulson, D., Macri, L., Hanauer, D. (In Press). Delirium and mental health history as
predictors of aggression in individuals with dementia in inpatient settings. Aging & Mental Health.

Paulson, D. Bassett, R., Kitsmiller, E., Luther, K., Conner, N. (In Press). When employment and caregiving
collide: Predictors of labor force participation in prospective and current caregivers. Clinical Gerontologist.

Paulson, D., Shah, M., Matero, L. Eshelman, A., Abouljoud, D. (2016). Cognition predicts quality
of life among patients with end-stage liver disease. Psychosomatics, 57, (5) 514-521.

Lichtenberg, P. A., Sugarman, M. A., Paulson, D., Ficker, L. J., Rahman-Filipiak, A. (2016).
Psychological and Functional Vulnerability Predicts Fraud Cases in Older Adults: Results of a Nationally Representative Longitudinal Study. Clinical Gerontologist, 39 (1), 48-63.

Paulson, D., Bassett, R. (2016). Prepared to care: Adult attachment and filial obligation. Aging &
Mental Health, 20 (11), 1221-1228.

*Shah, M., Paulson, D. (2016). C-reactive protein level partially mediates the relationship between moderate
alcohol use and frailty: The Health and Retirement Study. Age and Ageing, 45 (6), 874-878.

Paulson, D., Horner, M. D., Bachman, D., (2015). A Comparison of Four Embedded Effort Indices for the RBANS in a Memory Disorders Clinic. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 30 (3) 207-216.

Paulson, D., Lichtenberg, P. (2015). The Paulson-Lichtenberg Frailty Index: Evidence for a self-report measure of frailty. Aging and Mental Health, 19 (10), 892-901.

Hershenberg, R. Paulson, D., Gros, D. F., Acierno, R. (2014). Does amount and type of activity matter in behavioral activation? A preliminary investigation of the relationship between pleasant, functional, and social activities and outcome. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 13, 1-16.

Miller, L. R., Eshelman, A., Paulson, D., Armstrong, R., Brown, K. A., Moonka, D., Abouljoud, M. (2014). Beyond survival: How well do transplanted livers work? A comparison of standard-risk, high-risk, and living donor recipients. American Journal of Transplantation, 28, 691-698.

Russo, T. F., Leach, C. A., Lysack, C. L., Paulson, D., Lichtenberg, P. A. (2014). Efficacy of a train-the-trainer curriculum for increasing occupational therapists’ mental health knowledge. Occupational Therapy in Mental Health, 30 (1), 90-106.

Paulson, D., Bowen, M. E., & Lichtenberg, P. A. (2013). Does brain reserve protect older women from vascular depression? Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 69 (2), 157-167.

Sugarman, M. A., Jacobs, D. R., Paulson, D., Tomlinson, M., Lichtenberg, P. A. (2014). Examination of the cognitive profile of adults with Prader-Willi Syndrome using the Dementia Rating Scale-2: A pilot study. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 39 (1), 102-109. DOI: 10.3109/13668250.2013.870330

Miller, L. R., Paulson, D., Eshelman, A., Bugenski, M., Brown, K., Moonka, D., Abouljoud, M. (2013).
Mental health affects quality of life and recovery after liver transplantation. Liver Transplantation, 9,

Lysack, C. L., Leach, C., Russo, T. F., Paulson, D., Lichtenberg, P. A. (2013). DVD training for depression identification and treatment in older adults: A two group randomized waitlist control study. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 67 (5), 584-593.

Paulson, D., Lichtenberg, P. A. (2013). Vascular depression and frailty: A compound threat to longevity. Aging and Mental Health. 17 (7), 901-910.

Paulson, D., Lichtenberg, P. A. (2013). Vascular depression: An early warning sign of frailty. Aging and Mental Health. 17 (1), 85-93. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2012.692767.

Lichtenberg, P.A., Stickney, L., Paulson, D. (2013). Is psychosocial vulnerability related to the experience of fraud in older adults? Clinical Gerontologist. 36 (2), 132-146. DOI: 10.1080/07317115.2012.749323.

Raykov, T., Lichtenberg, P. A. Paulson, D. (2012). Examining the missing completely at random mechanism in incomplete data sets: A multiple testing approach. Structural Equation Modeling, 19, 399-408. DOI: 10.1080/10705511.2012.687660

Paulson, D., Bowen, M. E., Lichtenberg, P. A. (2011). Successful aging and longevity in older-old
women: The role of depression and cognition. Journal of Aging Research. 2001.

January, A. M., Casey, R. J., & Paulson, D. (2011). A meta-analysis of classroom-wide interventions to building social skills. School Psychology Review, 40 (2), 242-256.

Paulson, D., Lichtenberg, P.A. (2010). Effect of caregiver family status on caregiver stress and care recipient symptom severity. Clinical Gerontologist, 34, 132-143. doi:10.1080/07317115.2011.539518

Eshelman, A., Paulson, D., Meyer, T., Fischer, D., Moonka, D., Brown, K., Abouljoud, M. (2010). The influence of alcohol abuse history on the differential, longitudinal patterns of mental and physical quality of life following liver transplant. Transplantation Proceedings, 42 (10), 4145-4147.

Download CV