National University

General Course Information for AGE 611: Psychology of Older Adults

Course: AGE 611 - Psychology of Older Adults
Textbook: For the correct edition of the textbook assigned to a specific class, go to:

Course Prerequisite(s):
Course Description: Psychology and Neuropsychology of Older Adults will examine age-related changes in neurological and psychological function and methods for assessing them. Specific areas of study will include the age-related changes in memory, intellectual development in older adults, motivation and emotion over the life course, personality, and aging and mental health.
Course Learning Outcomes:
  • Incorporate current theory and relevant research findings in addressing specific topics in the psychology and neuropsychology of older adults (PLO 2, 7)
  • Explain how structural and functional changes in the aging brain and nervous system affect memory and decision-making (PLO 1, 2)
  • Examine the seeming paradox of continuity versus change for older adults in areas relating to self and others: personality, gender roles, and intergenerational relationships (PLO 1, 2, 4)
  • Develop assessment plans for older adults with memory complaints, depressive symptoms, or other psychological or interpersonal problems (PLO 2, 3)
  • Design strengths-based treatment plans for older adults and their families presenting with complex cognitive, psychological, and interpersonal challenges (PLO 2, 3)
Specified Program Learning Outcomes:
  • Master of Arts in Gerontology
    • Conduct applied research that addresses challenges or opportunities for older adults and their communities
    • Design and implement strengths-based strategies to address the challenges and opportunities facing societies and families as members age
    • Develop strategies for working with older adults that take into consideration age-related physical, cognitive, and emotional changes
    • Examine their own presumptions and biases about older adults and develop a deep appreciation for the paradoxes inherent in the aging process
    • Solve problems facing older individuals or organizations serving them using knowledge of assessment and evidence-based practice, as well as an understanding of relevant legal and ethical issues

Students with Disabilities:
Students seeking special accommodations due to a disability must submit an application with supporting documentation, as explained under this subject heading in the General Catalog. Instructors are required to provide such accommodations if they receive written notification from the University.

Writing Across the Curriculum:
Students are expected to demonstrate writing skills in describing, analyzing and evaluating ideas and experiences. Written reports and research papers must follow specific standards regarding citations of an author's work within the text and references at the end of the paper. Students are encouraged to use the services of the University's Writing Center when preparing materials.

The following website provides information on APA, MLA, and other writing and citation styles that may be required for term papers and the like:

National University Library:
National University Library supports academic rigor and student academic success by providing access to scholarly books and journals both electronically and in hard copy. Print materials may be accessed at the Library in San Diego or through document delivery for online and regional students. Librarians are available to provide training, reference assistance, and mentoring at the San Diego Library and virtually for online or regional students. Please take advantage of Library resources:


Contact the Library:

  • (858) 541-7900 (direct line)
  • 1-866-NU ACCESS x7900 (toll free)

Use the Library Training Tools (on the Library Homepage) for additional help

  • Recorded class presentations
  • Tutorials & Guides (APA/MLA, Peer-Review, and more)

Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else's ideas or work as one's own. Students must give credit for any information that is not either the result of original research or common knowledge. If a student borrows ideas or information from another author, he/she must acknowledge the author in the body of the text and on the reference page. Students found plagiarizing are subject to the penalties outlined in the Policies and Procedures section of the University Catalog, which may include a failing grade for the work in question or for the entire course. The following is one of many websites that provide helpful information concerning plagiarism for both students and faculty:

Ethical behavior in the classroom is required of every student. The course will identify ethical policies and practices relevant to course topics.

Students are expected to be competent in using current technology appropriate for this discipline. Such technology may include word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. Use of the internet and e-mail may also be required.

Learning to work with and value diversity is essential in every class. Students are expected to exhibit an appreciation for multinational and gender diversity in the classroom.

As a diverse community of learners, students must strive to work together in a setting of civility, tolerance, and respect for each other and for the instructor. Rules of classroom behavior (which apply to online as well as onsite courses) include but are not limited to the following:

  • Conflicting opinions among members of a class are to be respected and responded to in a professional manner.
  • Side conversations or other distracting behaviors are not to be engaged in during lectures, class discussions or presentations
  • There are to be no offensive comments, language, or gestures