Geropsychology, Social Class, and Counseling

Jacqueline K. Olthoff

in The Oxford Handbook of Social Class in Counseling

Published in print March 2013 | ISBN: 9780195398250
Published online May 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Geropsychology, Social Class, and Counseling

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  • Psychology
  • Counselling Psychology
  • Psychological Assessment and Testing
  • Developmental Psychology


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The older adult population is quickly growing, increasing the likelihood that generalist counseling psychologists will be treating those over 65 years old. Therefore, regardless of specialty, it is important for all psychologists to be aware of the interface between psychosocial changes of aging, chronic medical conditions among elders, and the unique presentation of mental illness and social class within the population. This chapter gives a brief introduction to the aging process, the field of geropsychology, and age-appropriate assessment and intervention techniques for many common late-life disorders, including: cognitive decline/dementia, late-life anxiety, grieving/adjustment to late-life changes, late-life depression, serious mental illness in older adults, personality disorders in older adults, late-life suicidal ideation, and late-life substance abuse. The way in which social class and sociocultural factors impact access to services, as well as the assessment and intervention for late-life disorders is also addressed.

Keywords: geropsychology; late-life disorders; cognitive decline; cognitive dementia; anxiety; depression; grieving; suicidal ideation; substance abuse

Article.  17651 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Counselling Psychology ; Psychological Assessment and Testing ; Developmental Psychology

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