GERO 302 Health Promotion and Aging

For further assistance with your assignment, ask at the Belzberg Library Reference Desk or contact Nina Smart, Liaison Librarian for Gerontology (778.782.5043 (Tuesdays and Thursdays) / Monday to Thursday .

Course description

GERO 302 "This course includes an examination of the development of contemporary understanding and practice of health promotion. Students will be given the opportunity to explore theories and models designed to explain health related behaviors and the determinants of health. Strategies for behavioral change and development of socio-environmental approaches will be discussed in the context of an aging Canadian population." [For more information see the GERO 302 page on Canvas]

Services for Distance Education students

Consult the guide Services for Distance Education students if you are outside the Lower Mainland area and are unable to come to the SFU Library.


Individual Journal Article Critique 

[2020 list]

You can choose one of the following research papers. Remember to check with your TM before proceeding with a selection.  Note: link often goes to the abstract, so then click on Full text or PDF to read the full article:

  1. Bartoszek, A., Nowicki, G., Kocka, K., Ślusarska, B., Bartoszek, A., Łuczyk, M., ... & Zielonka, E. (2017). Health behaviors of people over the age of 65 residing in the home environmentJournal of Education, Health and Sport7(11), 110-128.
  2. Carrapatoso, S., Cardon, G., Van Dyck, D., Carvalho, J., & Gheysen, F. (2018). Walking as a mediator of the relationship of social support with vitality and psychological distress in older adultsJournal of aging and physical activity26(3), 430-437.
  3. Fleig, L., Ashe, M. C., Voss, C., Therrien, S., Sims-Gould, J., McKay, H. A., & Winters, M. (2016). Environmental and psychosocial correlates of objectively measured physical activity among older adultsHealth Psychology35(12), 136.
  4. Loo, B. P., Lam, W. W., Mahendran, R., & Katagiri, K. (2017). How is the neighborhood environment related to the health of seniors living in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Tokyo? Some insights for promoting aging in placeAnnals of the American Association of Geographers107(4), 812-828.
  5. Mejía, S. T., Ryan, L. H., Gonzalez, R., & Smith, J. (2017). Successful aging as the intersection of individual resources, age, environment, and experiences of well-being in daily activitiesJournals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences72(2), 279-289.
  6. Nam, S., Han, S. H., & Gilligan, M. (2018). Internet use and preventive health behaviors among couples in later life: Evidence from the health and retirement studyThe Gerontologist59(1), 69-77.
  7. Piper, S. E., Bailey, P. E., Lam, L. T., & Kneebone, I. I. (2018). Predictors of mental health literacy in older peopleArchives of gerontology and geriatrics79, 52-56.
  8. Walker, J., Crotty, B. H., O’Brien, J., Dierks, M. M., Lipsitz, L., & Safran, C. (2016). Addressing the challenges of aging: how elders and their care partners seek informationThe Gerontologist57(5), 955-962.
  9. Wallace, R., Lo, J., & Devine, A. (2016). Tailored nutrition education in the elderly can lead to sustained dietary behaviour changeThe journal of nutrition, health & aging20(1), 8-15. 
  10. Warner, L. M., Schüz, B., Wurm, S., Ziegelmann, J. P., & Tesch-Römer, C. (2010). Giving and taking—Differential effects of providing, receiving and anticipating emotional support on quality of life in adults with multiple illnessesJournal of Health Psychology15(5), 660-670.
  11. Yoon, H., Jang, Y., Vaughan, P. W., & Garcia, M. (2018). Older adults’ internet use for health information: Digital divide by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic statusJournal of Applied Gerontology,  Volume 59, Issue 1, February 2019, Pages 69–77.  

For further information on critiques, see:

Term paper

Background information or: better than Wikipedia!

Reference works such as encyclopedias are a great place to start to get an overview of a topic.  Entries are written by experts in the field, and often there is a useful bibliography, which is quite time-saving. In addition, looking though one scholarly monograph is much faster than reading several journal articles. 

Handbook of Clinical Nutrition and Aging (online and print)
includes Chapter 9. Food Insecurity and Hunger Among Older Adults

Fact book on Aging in B.C. and Canada (7th Edition, 2019)
Statistical overview, published by the Gerontology Research Centre at SFU. See chapters on chronic conditions, disabilities, and health behaviours

Reichel's care of the elderly: clinical aspects of aging [online]
Covers care of the elderly for a range of diseases and chronic conditions (e.g. renal disorders, geriatric dentistry), and covering risk factors

Government publication Social isolation of seniors - a focus on new immigrant and refugee seniors in Canada 
Working Group on Social Isolation and Social Innovation "to share information, discuss new and emerging issues related to seniors"

Diseases in the Elderly Age-Related Changes and Pathophysiology  [online]
"contains 19 chapters that are arranged by organ system and structured to cover the specific areas for a quick but in-depth understanding of diseases in aging patients." Includes useful references for each type of disease
Epigenetics and the Aging Process [online]
Very medical, but useful references at the end of chapters

Finding other books

You can use books for your term paper topic as well as journal articles.  Use the SFU catalogue to find books. For more information see the catalogue search guide  Sample subject headings:

While using the SFU Library Search option is quick, it can be very useful to use subject-specific indexes.  To find journal articles and government reports on your topics, start with the following journal article indexes.  Note: It can be difficult to find research specifically about older people, except for this database:


This is the major social gerontology database, and it is all about older people.  You can start with this database for most term paper topics (Sample descriptors: Public PolicyHealth Promotion; Health Education; Preventative Health Services; Program Descriptions; Program evaluations; Outcomes)

Sample searches:

  • Self Care AND Internet
  • Foreign Origin AND (Isolation or Loneliness)
  • (Nutrition or Food Security) AND Program AND Canada {..or particular province or city}


The major psychology database. For articles about older adults use either i) Limit results by age group: Aged (65 yrs & older)- although sometimes still this results in research about all ages - or ii) by the Subject terms (Aging or Geriatrics).

Sample searches - also Limit by age as above:

  • (Exercise OR Physical Activity) AND Psychosocial Factors
  • Social Isolation AND Immigration

CINAHL Complete

Health database cover nursing and allied health. For articles about older adults you can either a) Limit results by age group:

Aged (65 yrs & older) and for the very old there's Limit Aged, 80 & over or b) search  (Topic X) AND  ("Old Age" or Aging)

Sample searches:

  • (self care or self management) AND (social media or Internet)
  •  Oral Hygiene AND Program Evaluation
  • Health Promotion In Old Age AND Treatment Outcomes
  • epigenetics AND Arthritis    {...or other chronic condition}

Canadian Commons
publications from a variety of Canadian public policy institutes, government agencies, etc. Sample Topic: Ageing

Sample Subjects: Social Isolation; Nutrition
Sample keyword searches: "health promotion" AND "older persons or elderly or seniors" 
Sample title: Social determinants of health : the Canadian facts

    For more information on how to research your term paper topic, see:

    Learning log

    For further information on learning logs, see: