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GSA Webinars

Moving From Linear to Reciprocal: Conceptualizing Productive Engagement Using System Dynamics

Wednesday, October 24, 2018
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EDT

In this webinar, the authors of Conceptualizing Productive Engagement in a System Dynamics Framework will describe the background that led to system dynamics scholars and gerontologists coming together to think differently about the topic of productive engagement in later life. The authors proposed that existing conceptual frameworks that articulate the antecedents and outcomes of productive engagement in a linear fashion can be improved using system dynamics. System dynamics assumes that feedback mechanisms or circular causality are central to social reality and is distinct from more traditional statistical techniques that infer unidirectional cause and effect. This approach offers a more complete understanding of the feedback loops between individuals, families, and society, as well as the impact of potential program and policy changes intended to increase the productive engagement of older adults. To create a system dynamics model, seven experts in productive aging and system dynamics met regularly to produce the “stock and flow” diagram presented in Innovation in Aging. The findings from this unique, qualitative effort suggest that there are modifiable conditions to increase the utilization of human capital in productive activities, advancing theory and helping to refine the productive aging research agenda. This activity also served as an educational and professional development tool for both teaching and research. In this session, the authors will review the rationale for the project, the methods used to create the system dynamics model, the model itself, and implications of this work.

Presenters:

Nancy Morrow-Howell, MSW, PhD, FGSA
Betty Bofinger Brown Distinguished Professor of Social Policy
Brown School of Social Work Center for Aging
Washington University

Cal Halvorsen, MSW, PhD
Assistant Professor
Boston College School of Social Work

Laura P. Sands, PhD, FGSA
Editor-in-Chief
Innovation in Aging
Professor
Virginia Tech

Academic Job Market: What Every Young Professional Needs to Know (GSA Emerging Scholar and Professional Organization Professional Development Webinar Series)

Friday, October 26, 2018
Noon to 1 p.m. EDT

How should you prepare yourself to become a competitive candidate for an academic career? If your career goal is to become a faculty member, please join us. We will share the basics of a job market process and how to present your research and teaching experiences. The process of entering the academic job market may seem overwhelming, but our three skilled professionals will share practical advice as well as their own experience on how to navigate academic job market.

Presented by:

Barbara Cochrane, PhD, RN, FAAN, FGSA is the de Tornyay Endowed Professor for Healthy Aging and Interim Chair of the Department of Family and Child Nursing at the University of Washington School of Nursing. Her research and professional commitments focus primarily on older women’s health and healthy aging, specifically positive aspects of aging, symptoms in older women, breast cancer prevention and survivorship, and cardiovascular health. She has presented and consulted nationally and internationally on midlife and older women’s health, health promotion, and community care transitions for older persons.

Noelle Fields, PhD, MSW, LCSW is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Arlington. She is a gerontology health researcher specializing in family caregiving among vulnerable populations and home- and community-based services for older adults. She has expertise in conducting community-based participatory research and has co-authored a book, Home and Community-Based Services for Older Adults: Aging in Context, with Columbia University Press. Dr. Fields has been the PI and Co-PI on several funded projects including a qualitative community assessment of “aging well” in Arlington, Texas. Currently, she is the PI of a funded project from the Transportation Center for Livable Communities to design an innovative electronic daily transportation diary for older adults using app technology.

Cal Halvorsen, PhD, MSW is an Assistant Professor at the Boston College School of Social Work and an expert on productive engagement in later life, with particular emphasis on longer working lives. He investigates self-employment and entrepreneurship in later life, encore careers, and the role institutions of higher education can play in helping those past midlife to re-career. He has taught both graduate and undergraduate courses in social work and aging. Before earning his PhD, Cal was the director of research at Encore.org, a national nonprofit that aims to engage people at midlife and beyond to improve their communities and the world.

This webinar is free, but space is limited. Pre-registration is required. Please contact ESPO at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

You may use the twitter handle #espocareers for this webinar.

Supported by the GSA Innovation Fund.

Translating Basic Research on the Aging Family to Caregiving Intervention

Wednesday, October 31
11 a.m. to Noon EDT

Registration link

Gerontology has sought to establish optimal connections between the scientific activities of researchers and the real-world concerns of practitioners and clinicians. The concept of translational research has emerged in recent years as a model for bridging the gap between science and service. This webinar provides examples of the translational research process, demonstrating how a body of basic research can be mined for insights that can guide intervention. A focus on within-family differences in older parent–adult child relationships suggests how existing caregiving interventions could be adapted or fine-tuned to take advantage of empirical insights regarding family complexity. Background reading: Translating Basic Research on the Aging Family to Caregiving Intervention: The Case of Within-Family Differences

Presenters:

Megan Gilligan, PhD
Assistant Professor, Human Development and Family Studies
Iowa State University

Laura P. Sands, PhD, FGSA
Editor-in-Chief
Innovation in Aging
Professor, Human Development and Family Science
Virginia Tech

Steven M. Albert, PhD, FGSA
Deputy Editor-in-Chief
Innovation in Aging
Professor and Chair, Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
University of Pittsburgh

Supported by the GSA Innovation Fund


Approaches to Measuring Wisdom

July 11, 2018

Wisdom research is a fast-growing field, and more and more investigators, especially those studying aging, are interested in using measures of wisdom. A number of measures of wisdom are available that differ in conceptual background and measurement approach. After attending this webinar, participants will be able to select the measure of wisdom that best fits their research questions. A broad distinction is made between self-report measures and performance-based measures, both of which have advantages and disadvantages. In this webinar, we discuss general issues in the measurement of wisdom, give a detailed overview of the existing measures, and describe current and potential future developments. In addition to describing the current state of wisdom measurement, we hope to attract researchers who are interested in developing new, creative measures of this complex construct.

Researcher bios:
Judith Glück, Dr. rer. nat., is a professor of developmental psychology at the University of Klagenfurt in Austria. Her main field of research is wisdom—how wisdom develops, under which conditions it manifests itself, how laypeople define it, and how it can be measured. She studied psychology at the University of Vienna with a focus on measurement and item-response theory and was then introduced to wisdom research by Paul Baltes when she was a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. Thus, she brought her background in psychometrics to the field of wisdom research and has published several papers on how wisdom can be measured. Currently, Dr. Glück is editing a psychological sciences special issue of The Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences on new developments in psychological wisdom research and co-editing the Cambridge Handbook of Wisdom with Robert J. Sternberg.

Nic M. Weststrate, PhD, is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Developmental Psychology at the University of Klagenfurt in Austria. His research examines growth and adjustment in response to challenging life experiences with a particular focus on the association between diverse modes of self-reflective processing and wisdom. Dr. Weststrate is an alumnus of the Wisdom and Identity Lab in the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development at the University of Toronto and a current member of the university’s Institute for Life Course and Aging.

Health and Retirement Study: Biomarkers Data (Part 3 of 3)

April 24, 2018

This webinar provides an overview of the data resources on physical measures and biomarkers in the Health and Retirement Study. The first part of the webinar provides information on the design of the physical measures and biomarkers data collection (through dried blood spot) and the measures collected. It also describes the Venous Blood Study with guidance on accessing these sensitive health data and relevant documentation.

Presented by Amanda Sonnega, associate research scientist in the Survey Research Center of the Institute for Social Research (ISR) at the University of Michigan (UM), where she is responsible for integrating communication, outreach, and education efforts for the Health and Retirement Study; and Jessica Faul, associate research scientist in the Survey Research Center and a co–principal investigator of the Health and Retirement Study, and affiliated with the Michigan Center on the Demography of Aging, the Population Studies Center, and the University of Michigan BioSocial Methods Collaborative.

This webinar was developed and presented by the University of Michigan with funds from the National Institute on Aging and hosted by GSA.

Non-Academic Careers in Aging (GSA Emerging Scholar and Professional Organization Professional Development Webinar Series)

April 6, 2018

What are career opportunities outside of academia? Do you want to know how to remain involved and be actively involved in gerontology research and policy outside of university institutions? Join our experts in non-academic career paths, as they discuss their experiences in diverse gerontology roles and ways to explore potential trajectories for non-academic careers in aging, offered as part of the ESPO Professional Development Webinar Series.

Presented by a panel of professionals working in non-academic careers:
Mindy Baker, PhD, from George G. Glenner Alzheimer’s Family Centers, Inc. is the Director of Education, where she provides Specialized Alzheimer’s and Dementia Training to their team members and also to professionals in the community. She has more than twenty years of experience working with people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. She has a PhD in Applied Cognitive Aging Psychology and a Certificate of Gerontology from the University of Akron, in Akron, Ohio. Her passion is finding ways to make meaningful connections with people who have dementia and teaching others to do the same. Sonya Barsness, MS, from Sonya Barsness Consulting Sonya is a Masters-prepared Gerontologist with 20 years of experience in aging, primarily in dementia care and long-term care. As a consultant, she works with organizations to support elders, particularly elders with dementia, in living with meaning and purpose, regardless of cognitive or functional challenges, or where they live. Cynthia Dougherty, PhD, MSW, is the Director of the Office of Geriatrics and Interprofessional Aging Studies at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. In her current role, some of her major responsibilities include managing a number of distance education/professional development programs, advising health profession and other students interested in the field of aging, developing and maintaining relationships with community partners, and supporting geriatric and gerontological research.

Supported by the GSA Innovation Fund.

Methodological Innovations in Gerontology: Advances in Psychosocial Research

April 3, 2018

Over the past decade, the data and methods available to scholars of aging, the life course, and human development have expanded tremendously, enabling explorations of new areas of study and more sophisticated investigations of questions at the core of social gerontology. Scholars working in the social and psychological sciences have moved beyond data resources focused on measurement of individuals at a single or two points in time, and instead investigate the experiences of individuals embedded in dyads, families, social networks, and neighborhoods, at multiple points in time. Technological advances have led to an increased volume of individual-, meta-, and macro-level data, necessitating the development and use of statistical techniques to appropriately model psychosocial phenomena.

This webinar highlights key features of the recently published special issue on methodological innovations in The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, led by co-editors Deborah Carr and Shevaun Neupert. I-Fen Lin describes applications of the multiple-indicators and multiple-causes (MIMIC) model to intergenerational transfer and reporting bias, and Nilam Ram presents core concepts from each of his four papers in the issue.

Papers from the special issue discussed on the webinar:

Supported by the GSA Innovation Fund.

Health and Retirement Study: Data on Cognition (Part 2 of 3)

March 27, 2018

This webinar presents an overview of the data resources on cognition in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). The first part of the webinar identifies and provides guidance on the measures that have been included in the core survey along with where to find them. It also describes the supplementary clinical study of dementia — the Aging, Demographics, and Memory Study (ADAMS) — and offers guidance on accessing these sensitive health data. The last part of the formal presentation provides an initial glimpse into a new data resource — the Healthy Cognitive Aging Project (HCAP) — that provided valid data on the presence of cognitive impairment and dementia in the U.S. population.

Presented by Amanda Sonnega, Associate Research Scientist in the Survey Research Center of the Institute for Social Research (ISR) at the University of Michigan (UM), where she is responsible for integrating communication, outreach, and education efforts for the Health and Retirement Study. She received her PhD through the Department of Health, Behavior & Society at the Johns Hopkins University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship within the ISR program in Social Environment and Health. She has lectured in the UM School of Public Health, teaching Psychosocial Factors in Health-related Behavior. Her research focuses on life course trajectories of physical and mental health; institutional and personal factors associated with vulnerability and resilience in aging individuals; and work transitions and their broad effects on health and well-being.

This webinar was developed and presented by the University of Michigan with funds from the National Institute on Aging and hosted by GSA.

The Road to Boston: Mapping the Steps for GSA 2018 Abstract Submission

January 25, 2018

Be prepared to click submit on March 15 for the GSA Annual Scientific Meeting call for abstracts deadline. This webinar will enhance your knowledge and skills for submitting an abstract. Hear from the experts about the importance and process for submitting an abstract and how best to prepare an abstract for submission. GSA President and Program Chair David J. Ekerdt, PhD, FGSA, of the University of Kansas, and GSA Program Co-Chairs, Mercedes Bern-Klug, PhD, FGSA, of the University of Iowa and Sara Moorman, PhD, FGSA, of Boston College, will walk attendees through the ins and outs of the GSA Annual Scientific Meeting abstract submission process. John Beilenson, President of Strategic Communications & Planning, who has been advising scientists about communications for more than a decade will demonstrate how to make your submission stand out from the crowd.

Introduction to the Health and Retirement Study (Part 1 of 3)

January 9, 2018

This introduction familiarizes new users with the study including previewing available data, how to access it, and some tips on getting started with analysis. An overview of the study can be found in PubMed: Cohort Profile: the Health and Retirement Study (HRS).

Presented by Amanda Sonnega, Associate Research Scientist in the Survey Research Center of the Institute for Social Research (ISR) at the University of Michigan (UM), where she is responsible for integrating communication, outreach, and education efforts for the Health and Retirement Study. She received her PhD through the Department of Health, Behavior & Society at the Johns Hopkins University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship within the ISR program in Social Environment and Health. She has lectured in the UM School of Public Health, teaching Psychosocial Factors in Health-related Behavior. Her research focuses on life course trajectories of physical and mental health; institutional and personal factors associated with vulnerability and resilience in aging individuals; and work transitions and their broad effects on health and well-being.

This webinar was developed and presented by the University of Michigan with funds from the National Institute on Aging and hosted by GSA.

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