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Student, faculty gerontology research project wins second place

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Brian Jefferis, a Missouri State senior majoring in psychology, recently won second place at the Missouri Academy of Science for his presentation of a collaborative research effort on the topic of how elders are adapting to and using various electronic devices. Dr. Carol Gosselink, associate professor of gerontology in the psychology department, led the team along with Jefferis, students Kelsey Maloney and Emily Kiehne, and former student Kristine Sinor.

“My presentation elicited a lot of questions and a discussion,” said Jefferis. “I could tell that our topic sparked interest in many of the individuals watching.”

To gather data, the team used questionnaires asking about technology and electronic device use, comparing the answers of respondents aged 60-74 to those over the age of 75.

“In general, young-old (60-74) had moderately to slightly higher percentages of technology use than did old-old (ages 75-88) respondents. However, the old-old participants were more likely to use technology that helped them functionally compensate for potential decline in mobility,” said Gosselink. “Specifically, they were more likely than the younger cohort to use cellphones, GPS and online banking—technology that made their lives and access to social and everyday necessities easier.”

For more information, contact Gosselink at (417) 836-6859.


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The College of Health and Human Services offers 16 undergraduate and 17 graduate and certificate programs. The academic units in the college include: biomedical sciences; communication sciences and disorders; kinesiology; nursing; physical therapy; physician assistant studies; psychology; public healthsocial work; and sports medicine and athletic training. Complementing the academic course work in nationally accredited programs are clinical experiences, laboratory and research experiences and internship opportunities. Students receive comprehensive training through interdisciplinary course work, coupled with professional mentoring in the work environment.


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