GERO 823 Mental Health and Illness in Later Life

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 & introduction

Provides an overview of the range of mental illnesses affecting older adults, their respective diagnostic criteria, and empirically validated treatments (disorders with their onset in later life and those that extend into later years). Particular emphasis will be placed on the manner in which psychopathology presents differently among older adults, various theories of aetiology, barriers to diagnosis and treatment, and the social context in which mental illness is understood and treated across cultures.  For further information see the course outline.

Term paper research resources

Journal article databases

To get an overview of other research on a particular topic, or other works written by the selected article's author, search an article database:

  • Ageline - the major social gerontology database
  • Medline - major medical database
  • PsycINFO - the major psychology database
    Hint: In the Advanced search limit results by Age Group, i.e. Aged (65 yrs & older)
    For new researchers see their Quick Reference Guide


APA handbook of clinical geropsychology [print or online]
Covers the history and status of the field and perspectives on aging as well as assessment, treatment, and issues of later life.

Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-V [print or online]
A "diagnostic tool used by mental health professionals worldwide to promote reliable research, accurate diagnosis, and thus appropriate treatment and patient care."

Dictionary of psychology  [print (2006) or online (2015)]
Comprehensive, authoritative source for clear and concise definitions of psychology terms

Handbook of assessment in clinical gerontology [print or online]
Discusses "clear guidelines and reliable tools for assessing general mental health, cognitive functioning, functional age, psychosocial health, comorbidity, behavior deficits, and more"

Handbook of the clinical psychology of ageing [print or online]
Discusses different psychology topics about ageing, including typical problems, assessment, intervention, and treatment

Handbook of emotional disorders in later life: assessment and treatment [print]
Guidebook that provides comprehensive discussion on how to assess and treat psychological disorders as they present in older adults

Handbook of the psychology of aging  [print or online]
Discussions on different psychological aspects of aging

Oxford handbook of clinical geropsychology [print]
Psychology textbook providing an introduction to clinical geropsychology including assessment and formulation, sources of psychological distress, and interventions.

Browse Search the Library Catalogue to find additional materials. Sample subject headings:


  • National Seniors Council (replacing NACA) - website for the National Seniors Council, a consulting body that was "established to advise the Government of Canada on matters related to the health, the well-being and quality of life of seniors"

See also: Psychology Information Resources for more information about psychology research