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Kathryn Betts Adams

Kathryn Betts Adams
Independent Research

PhD, MSW

About

46
Publications
39,976
Reads
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2,398
Citations
Citations since 2016
9 Research Items
1337 Citations
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Introduction
My background is in aging and mental health. From 2003 to 2013 I was on the faculty at Case Western Reserve University in Social Work, receiving tenure in 2011. Since that time, I've been a freelance online instructor, consultant, and editor. In 2017, I relocated to West Hartford, CT. I have a blog on Psychology Today, "Mid-life, What Crisis?" In addition to independent writing, editing, and consulting, I'm at work on a memoir about family caregiving and later life.
Additional affiliations
May 2017 - December 2017
UConn Health Center
Position
  • Professor
June 2003 - May 2013
Case Western Reserve University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • Full-time tenure-track and tenured faculty member. Aging and mental health practice teaching. Research on geriatric depression and dementia caregiving
Education
August 1996 - May 2001
University of Maryland, Baltimore
Field of study
  • Social Work
June 1983 - May 1984
University of Michigan
Field of study
  • Social Work

Publications

Publications (46)
Article
Full-text available
Socio-emotional selectivity theory posits that as individuals age, they desire less social stimulation and novelty, and tend to select close, reliable relationships to meet their emotional needs. Residence in congregate facilities affords social exposure, yet does not guarantee access to close relationships, so that loneliness may be a result. Furt...
Article
Full-text available
Chronic illness with its accompanying physical stressors poses a risk factor for loneliness and depression in later life. Testing a model of stress and coping, we examined the effects of three types of coping resources (religious coping; Selection, Optimization, and Compensation [SOC] adaptive strategies; and perceived social support) on the delete...
Article
Full-text available
Although there is an extensive literature on dementia caregiving, research on family members' adjustment to the onset of dementia and on the early stage of caregiving is limited. This article describes a phenomenological study based on twenty semi-structured interviews with spouses and adult daughters of someone with early/mild dementia or mild cog...
Article
Full-text available
An engaged lifestyle is seen as an important component of successful ageing. Many older adults with high participation in social and leisure activities report positive wellbeing, a fact that fuelled the original activity theory and that continues to influence researchers, theorists and practitioners. This study's purpose is to review the conceptual...
Article
Full-text available
Caring for spouses with dementia is a risk factor for increased levels of depression. Less is known about specific symptom differences between groups of caregivers and non-caregivers. This study characterizes differences on the CES-D depression screening scale between caregiving and non-caregiving spouses. Data were obtained from 391 spouse caregiv...
Preprint
The aim of this research was to evaluate the extent to which spouses and their problem drinking husbands experience mental disorders and distress separately and interactively. Consistent with the literature, the sample of 24 wives and their husbands reported elevated levels of depression and anxiety. The couples showed more pervasive mental disorde...
Article
Purpose The aim of this research was to implement and evaluate unilateral family therapy (UFT) for alcohol abuse, an approach that assists the nonalcoholic spouse to induce their alcohol-abusing partner to enter treatment and/or reduce drinking. Method Forty-two nonalcohol-abusing spouses participated in this randomized control trial, and 13 no-tr...
Article
Background and objectives: Quantitative and qualitative data from a statewide survey of family members of nursing home residents were analyzed to determine the predictors of, and motivations for, family involvement. Research design and methods: We examined 3 types of involvement: visiting, providing personal care, and family-staff communication....
Poster
Full-text available
Abstract Objectives: Theories of Successful Aging and current gerontological research suggest that social connectedness remains crucial in later life. “Elder orphans” – those who live alone and lack close relationships – may be especially vulnerable to social isolation and mental health sequelae. This study examined associations among indicators o...
Article
The proportion of older incarcerated women is growing, yet little is known regarding their health-care needs. Using focus group methodology, this study sought to elucidate the unique health-care needs of older women prisoners through the perspectives of correctional health-care providers. Three organizing themes emerged regarding the health of olde...
Article
Families often remain involved in the care of loved ones after nursing home (NH) placement. This study examines the predictors of three family involvement outcomes: visiting, providing direct care, and communicating with staff. The primary family contact of a census-proportionate, random sample of NH residents was surveyed in a 2012 biennial, state...
Article
Quality of life (QoL) in the face of declining health, mobility, and social losses is a central issue for older adults. Our study examined changes in QoL over time for older adults residing in independent senior housing within continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) and estimated how residents’ social engagement during their first year influ...
Article
Full-text available
This mixed-methods study examined the subjective experience of living with chronic illness and identified barriers to self-care. Community-dwelling older women with chronic illness completed an initial (N = 138) and follow-up mailed survey 6 months later (N = 130). On average, participants reported four comorbid health conditions and the correspond...
Article
Full-text available
The need for dyadic intervention is enhanced with increasing numbers of older adults with early-stage dementia. The purpose of this paper is to review the effects of dyadic interventions on caregivers (CGs) and care recipients (CRs) at the early stage of dementia. Four databases, AgeLine, Medline, EBSCO, and PyscINFO were searched and relevant lite...
Article
Full-text available
The objective of this study was to research grief and depression in oldest-old people living in urban congregate housing by examining the various types of grief that they experience by using a stress process model for depression among the oldest old. This study used a convenience sample of the 128 participants aged 80 and older living in congregate...
Article
This study examined the relationship between transportation support and self-regulatory driving behaviors of 566 community-dwelling older adults living in retirement communities, with a focus on gender differences. The results of logistic regression analysis showed that older women were more likely to avoid driving at night or on the highway than t...
Article
Full-text available
This study longitudinally examines the impact of transportation support on driving cessation among community-dwelling older adults residing in retirement communities. Data came from 3 waves of the Florida Retirement Study (1990-1992), a population-based cohort study. Analysis was limited to participants who drove at baseline and were reinterviewed...
Conference Paper
Purpose: In the United States, nearly 80% of all older adults have one or more chronic illness. Disability and functional impairment that often accompany these conditions make social isolation, loneliness and depression a real risk for older people, especially older women, since they comprise the majority of older people living alone and living wit...
Conference Paper
Background and Purpose: Nearly 80% of all older adults have one or more chronic illnesses. The importance of positive health behaviors for the management of chronic illnesses is emphasized in health literature and practice, but less is known about barriers to performing these behaviors. This study uses a mixed methods approach to examine the effect...
Article
Full-text available
Background: In light of inconsistencies in cut points for identifying non-major depression, this study examined the classification efficiency of the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS and GDS-15) total scores and individual items, and four additional depressive symptoms for identification of subthreshold, minor, or criterion depression among 166 vuln...
Article
Full-text available
The aging process is marked by a series of transitions that influence multiple domains of well-being. One important transition for older adults is the process of driving cessation. Numerous studies have examined risk factors for driving cessation among older adults to identify at-risk older drivers for road safety. Recent research has focused on th...
Article
The purpose of this review article is to assess the available scientific evidence on the effects of couples-based psychosocial interventions for couples when one spouse faces cancer. For the present study, we conducted an extensive search of three electronic databases using a comprehensive search strategy. The literature search identified 14 studie...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines the changes in activity investment among older adults and the role of these changes in the relationship between health limitations and depression. Residents of six senior living facilities (N = 178) completed questionnaires including the Geriatric Depression Scale, health and functioning measures and the Revised Change in Activi...
Conference Paper
This study aims to identify sociodemographic and health factors influencing night and highway driving avoidance among older drivers. Data were obtained from the third wave of the Florida Disability Study (1992). The study population consists of generally healthy community-living old-old persons residing in Florida retirement communities. We restric...
Article
Full-text available
Chronic health conditions and living in congregate housing, both stressors and losses, are risk factors for late life depressive symptoms. We examined self-reported coping strategies and their associations with depressive symptoms among residents of congregate living facilities. Despite demographic differences between the African American and the W...
Article
Full-text available
The Change in Activities and Interest Index (CAII) was developed to examine empirically the perceived changes that occur in the lives of older adults. To continue to define the properties of the measure and its relevance to socio-emotional selectivity and gerotranscendence theories, this study compares findings on the 30-item CAII from a sample of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background and Purpose: Clinically relevant subthreshold depression symptoms are particularly common among older adults, reportedly affecting from 13-40% of elders. Elders in residential care, including various types of congregate housing, are particularly vulnerable to these symptoms. Studies have found subthreshold depression to be associated wit...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines symptoms of subthreshold depression among older adults in congregate housing, compared with their nondepressed peers, and tests a conceptual model of subthreshold depression. Hypotheses included that subthreshold depression would be characterized and distinguished by low energy, social withdrawal, and depletion, rather than sadn...
Article
Full-text available
EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE (EBP) is a term that is now widely used in social work and psycho -social disciplines. Modeled after evidence-based medicine, a state-of-the-art approach where the focus is on finding appropriate treatments (pharmaceutical, medical, and surgical) for a patient's medical conditions (Eddy, 2005; Sack ett, Rosenberg, Gray, Hayn...
Conference Paper
PURPOSE: In American culture, individuals' mobility is primarily based on traveling in private vehicles. Given that, driving cessation among older adults means the loss of mobility, resulting in dependence on others. Previous studies showed that driving cessation could have negative effects on psychological wellbeing among the elderly (e.g., Reglan...
Conference Paper
Background and Justification: Although the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) is one of the best known and most widely used screens for depression in older adults, the literature is not in agreement about score cut-offs, raising questions about its adequacy as a screening tool for some presentations of depression or subthreshold depression. These dis...
Article
Full-text available
Models of the dementia caregiving stress process specify that the impairments and behavioral problems of the person with Alzheimer's disease or related disorder (ADRD) and primary subjective stressors, such as burden, along with secondary stressors and appraisals, lead to negative outcomes such as depression. This cross-sectional study focused on t...
Article
Memantine is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer disease (AD). We investigated the frequency and variables associated with its use in mild to moderate/severe AD as defined by criteria involving the Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE) and Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scale. Consecutiv...
Article
Full-text available
With the current emphasis on early diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment or dementia such as Alzheimer's disease, it is increasingly common to receive the diagnosis of impairment before functioning is seriously compromised. People in the early stages of cognitive loss experience distress related to their current and future functioning and yet are...
Article
Recruitment and retention of African Americans into Alzheimer disease (AD) research studies poses challenges owing to long-standing socio-economic and cultural differences, pragmatic difficulties in reaching the African American population, and a legacy of distrust of medical research. In this study, we report on our efforts to use live theater to...
Article
Full-text available
The relationship between grief and depression in caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer's disease has not been clearly defined through empirical research. This pilot study examined the relationship between these two variables and determined the strength of their relationship. A racially diverse sample of caregivers was drawn from an urban setting...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines the relationship of personal mastery and perceived emotional support to depressive symptoms for spousal dementia caregivers (CGs) and noncaregiver (NCG) spouses. Although it is well known that caring for a spouse with dementia is stressful and that personal mastery and emotional support may reduce stress, the authors hypothesize...
Article
Full-text available
The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) is widely used in clinical and research settings to screen older adults for depressive symptoms. Although several exploratory factor analytic structures have been proposed for the scale, no independent confirmation has been made available that would enable investigators to confidently identify scores for the sub...
Article
Full-text available
The self-reported losses, grief reactions, and depressive symptoms experienced by caregivers in the early, middle, and late stages of dementia were assessed using open-ended descriptive questions and scaled measures including the Meuser-Marwit Caregiver Grief Inventory (MM-CGI; Marwit & Meuser, 2002). Ninety-nine caregivers associated with an urban...
Article
Full-text available
Socioemotional selectivity and gerotranscendence, newer theories with roots in the disengagement theory of aging, provided the theoretical framework for a new measure of perceived change in investment in a variety of pursuits. The 30-item Change in Activity and Interest Index (CAII) was given to a sample of 327 outpatients aged 65-94. Items with at...
Article
Full-text available
Researchers have posited a depletion syndrome among older adults that resembles "depression without sadness." Disengagement-related theories such as socio-emotional selectivity and gerotranscendence also describe an adaptive narrowing of the older person's social world and decreasing investment in activities and social relationships. This study has...
Article
Full-text available
This article reports on a study of convergent and discriminant validity of the Traumatic Stress Institute Belief Scale (TSI)-Revision L (Traumatic Stress Institute, 1994) as a measure of vicarious trauma in a random sample of master's level clinical social workers. Forty-nine items from six subscales of the TSI were used. The scale purports to meas...
Article
Adams et al. use five case studies to demonstrate how group and milieu strategies can be employed in long term care. These patients had many problems commonly found in this population: paranoia and anxiety around changes. The recommended emphases on building trust and enhancing personal control are excellent strategies in any long term care facilit...
Article
This article presents the conceptualization of unilateral relationship enhancement (URE) and a URE treatment program developed for use with the spouses of alcohol abusers unmotivated to enter treatment. Enhancing the marital relationship through a unilateral program is described as an important step in the preparation of the spouse to function as a...

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