Mental Health Clinicians and Students Perceptions of Preparedness to Working with the Aging Population

Elizabeth W Johnson, Purdue University


The objective of this study was to expand research surrounding mental health professional’s work and self of the therapist issues surrounding aging and aging clients. Previous research focused on medical health and ageism in interactions with aging adults. There is limited research on the benefits of mental health care throughout the lifespan as well as specific training to work with this population. Based on current research and narrative family therapy theories it was hypothesized negative messages learned about aging (bias) and little specific education about aging would have a negative impact on personal aging beliefs as well as work with the aging population. Twenty-two mental health professionals and students were included in this research. Findings indicated age of the clinician significantly impacted the positive prognosis of aging clients as well as personal beliefs about aging. Outside of age there was no significance for the remaining hypothesized variables. Further discussion is included within the paper.




Edwards, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Behavioral Sciences

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