Behavioral Gerontology: Who, What, Where, How and Why

Behavioral Gerontology: Who, What, Where, How and Why​
Leilani Feliciano​, Ph.D.
University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Saturday, July 15th, 2017, 1:00pm - 2:20pm
The application of behavioral principles, theory, and interventions to important problems affecting those in late-life is known as behavioral gerontology.  As early as the 1960’s, behavior analysts recognized the need for applying behavioral theory to enhance the lives of older adults.  While some researchers took up the charge in the 1980’s, the interest was not widespread across the field of behavior analysis, and the number of studies waned4.  With the aging of the baby boomers, and with it, a drastic increase in the number of older adults in the U.S., an interest and pressing need for behavioral gerontologists has grown.  This presentation will focus on describing the aging population (the who), laying out the principles of behavioral gerontology and a focus on preserving behavioral repertoires for as long as possible in aging (the what). In addition, this presentation will provide a discussion of how behavior analysts can become substantively involved in behavioral gerontology (the how), the settings in which behavioral gerontologists work (the where), and the important needs of the aging population that behavior analysts can fill (the why), including examples of the areas in which behavioral gerontologists work.  

Leilani Feliciano​, Ph.D.

Dr. Leilani Feliciano came to UCCS in 2007 from the University of California, San Francisco, where she completed a two-year NIMH sponsored post-doctoral fellowship. This research fellowship focused on developing partnerships with community agencies and research with underserved populations. Dr. Feliciano earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI in 2005. She obtained her M.A. in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in behavioral medicine in 2000 from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. Prior to her graduate training, she completed her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Southern California. Dr. Feliciano's research program broadly targets mental and physical health, cognition, and aging. Her primary research interest is in studying and applying behavioral interventions for clinical problems and mental disorders in older adults. Specific areas of interest include late-life depression, co-morbid psychological and medical problems, and behavioral problems associated with dementia. Dr. Feliciano has many years of experience as a behavior specialist working with older adults with dementia, developmental disabilities, and adults with severe mental illness designing behavior modification programs, training staff, implementing interventions, and outcome evaluation.