GERO 409 Mental Health 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

Psychopathology often presents in distinct ways among older adults. The intent of this course is to examine disorders with their onset in later life as well as those that extend into later years. Students will derive an understanding of the diagnostic criteria for various disorders, prevalence, theories of etiology, and selected empirically validated interventions. 

Note: For more information see the course outline.  If there are discrepancies between  information listed on this page and that in Canvas or instructor handouts, please refer to the latter.

Review paper (finding books and articles)

Finding books


Aging and Mental Health (print and online)

For background information to get an overview of topics start with handbooks and encyclopedias:

  • Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders : DSM-5 (DSM-V) [print or online]
  • Handbook of assessment in clinical gerontology [print or online] covering psychopathology, behavioural disorders, cognition, and everyday functioning
  • Handbook of clinical geropsychology  [print]
  • Handbook of emotional disorders in later life : assessment and treatment [print]
  • Handbook of the psychology of aging  [print or online]
  • The Oxford handbook of clinical geropsychology [print] covering assessment, "sources of psychological distress" and interventions
  • Psychopathology in later adulthood [print]

Check the library catalogue to find additional materials at the SFU Library. Sample subject headings:

Finding journal articles

In addition to simply using Library Search on the library home page or Google Scholar (use this link to get SFU library holdings),  the two most useful subject article databases are below:

The major psychology database. Database hints:

  • You can Limit results by age group, i.e. Aged (65 yrs & older), although sometimes still this results in research about all ages. You can also use the Subject term Aging.  Sample search: Personality Disorders AND Aging.
  • You can Limit results by Publication Date, although generally the most recent items come up first
  • From the database description: "99% of articles indexed in PsycINFO are peer-reviewed" 
  • See the Quick Reference Guide for further instructions

The major social gerontology database. Database hints:

  • Ageline is very useful in that it is that it is all about older people, so there is no need to narrow your search by age
  • You can Limit results by Publication Date, although generally the most recent items come up first
  • You can Limit your search to Academic Journals under Source Types. If you want to verify that they are indeed peer-reviewed, see What is a peer-reviewed journal? for tips

For more medical articles, see CINAHL Complete (nursing and allied health) and Medline (PubMed)

Useful Web sites