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California State University, Long Beach
Department of Family and Consumer Sciences

CSULB Gerontology Student Research 2008

Geriatric Guide: Assessment by Elder Abuse Investigators

Elaine Chen

This project’s goal was to obtain recommendations for tailoring the Geriatric Pocket Doc (GPD), a guide book of geriatric information for non-physicians, for use by law enforcement officers who investigate elder abuse. Using a written survey and facilitated discussion group, investigators and detectives in an advanced Elder Abuse Investigations course were asked how they would improve the GPD’s content, organization, and presentation.In the literature, experts have expressed the need for officers to have training and easy-to-carry information on common medical issues of older adults. Project participants(N=21) indicated the GPD was a useful tool that they would carry on the job. Participants suggested adding photos of bruises and pressure sores and adding tabs or color-coding. Participants recommended supplementing the existing book with additional formats, such as laminated foldouts, a CD-ROM, and a website which would allow frequent updates.

The Relationships between Optimism, Hope and Lifelong Learning in Older Adults

William Goeller

The purpose of this study was to determine if there were relationships between optimism, hope and lifelong learning.The significant findings in this study were the overall positive attributional style mean scores for lifelong learners on the Older Adult Attributional Questionnaire being significantly higher, and the higher mean scores obtained by lifelong learners on the total hope score, the agency subscale, and the pathways subscale of the Hope Scale. These significant differences suggest that lifelong learners are more optimistic and hopeful than non-lifelong learners. These higher levels of optimism and hope have been shown to have positive effect on the physical, psychological, and social well-being of older adults in a number of cited studies. These findings strongly suggest that for older adults to have higher levels of optimism and hope in the future, more learning opportunities need to become available to them that are designed specifically to address the issues of optimism and hope in order to enable them to enjoy the benefits of both of those constructs.

Gerontology’s Impact on the Financial Services, Travel, and Housing Industries

Ellen Po Wong

The purpose of this Directed Project was to evaluate awareness about gerontology and the need for professionals with aging expertise in three silver industries (financial services, travel, and housing). By understanding the role of gerontologists in these industries, graduate programs in gerontology can enhance their curriculums to address the needs of business/industry and assist students with identifying career options.The Investigator conducted five face-to-face interviews with travel and housing professionals and four telephone interviews with banking professionals.The participants identified the following attributes as being important: knowledge of marketing and aging needs, the ability to provide concrete services (education/training, advocacy), interpersonal and leadership skills, passion, and sales experience. Entrepreneurial and consulting opportunities exist for gerontologists.To work in the silver industries, gerontologists should demonstrate their expertise, create niches, understand the business environment, and have marketing and sales experience, areas gerontology programs can address to remain responsive to changing industry needs.

Problem Gambling among Older Adults: A Training Program for California Service Providers

Taina Pace Bucci

The purpose of this directed project was to develop a curriculum addressing problem gambling among older adults. The curriculum was used in the development of a Power Point training program that targeted California service providers. The topics covered in the presentation were: (a)history and general overview of gambling (b) current overview of gambling including California (c) issues related to problem and pathological gambling older adults (d) awareness and prevention of problem gambling (e) identification, screening, and assessment of problem gamboling; and (f) intervention and treatment approaches and options. The curriculum and Power Point presentation developed for this project proved to be effective in training California service providers on problem gambling among old re adults based on the results of the evaluation and comments made by pilot test participants.

Focus Groups with Seniors on the Topic of Advance Directives

Tina M. Calderone-Roth

The purpose of this directed graduate project was to explore the thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, opinions, general understanding of community dwelling seniors about advance directives, Utilizing qualitative research methods, questions were asked for 16 participants, aged 65 or older ,in 2 focus groups. Six specific questions addressed the following subject areas: meaning of advance directives, reasons for completing advance directives, and when is the right time to complete advance directives. Limited research has been conducted with independent seniors on the subject matter of advance directives. For this reason, it was important for this project to focus on independent seniors. The emergent themes were: "confusion/uncertainty about terms and process" and "need for discussion with doctors and family." The participants shared personal experiences. Recommendations for research were included in this project.

Factors that Influence Resilience among Older Californians in the Context of Terrorism

Amy R. Leeman

This study examined potential factors influencing resilience levels among older Californians in the context of terrorism. A sample population of N=86 adults, age 60 or older, completed a 48-item survey with existing scales measuring resilience, general-self efficacy and 12-items about specific research variables and respondent demographics. Existing literature suggests that resilience levels vary greatly among older adults depending upon individual characteristics and external influences. This study examined specific variables generally associated with adult and older adult resilience including sex, age group/life stage, birth cohort, self-efficacy, previous exposure and impact of trauma, access to and use of formal and informal support systems, and individual disaster preparedness. Analysis of the data found that general self-efficacy (p =.000) and access to informal support (p= .050) were statistically significant in relationship to resilience levels among older Californians.

The Perspectives of Older Adults Regarding Online Learning

Kashif Ross

The purpose for this Directed Project was to explore older adults’ attitudes about online learning environments. The participants in this study were community-dwelling adults between the ages of 50 and 79 that have used the Internet and have some knowledge or experience with online learning environments. The participants were asked six questions about their perspectives of learning and online learning communities.

From the focus groups questions, several themes emerged. Online learning environments must include immediate and worthwhile results and incorporate the application of knowledge. However, participants also believe that there are drawbacks to taking online courses, which include intensive focus, difficulty learning how to use the online tools, and lack of interaction between the instructor and students.





Elaine Chen, M.S.

BS, University of California, Berkeley






William Goeller, M.S.

BSE, University of Florida







Ellen Po Wong, M.S.

BA, Whittier College







Taina Pace Bucci, M.S.

BA, California State University, Long Beach






Tina M. Calderone-Roth, M.S.

BA, California State University, Los Angeles






Amy R.Leeman, M.S.

BS, Santa Clara University






Kashif Ross

Kashif Ross, M.S.

BA, University of California