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Social, Cultural, and Behavioral Sciences

Human aging occurs in a sociocultural context that defines aging and the stages of life, giving them meaning. Within the sociocultural context, life is organized through socially constructed and culturally transmitted ideas about aging and the life course that shape our perceptions and behaviors (e.g., our responses to health problems or normative life events). While focusing on the sociocultural/behavioral dimensions of aging, students in this specialty develop a biopsychosocial perspective. In this view, individuals’ actions, as well as influences at the group, structural and societal levels lead to understanding aging from an integrated, interdisciplinary perspective; this approach also enables linking research from the macro-societal level, through behavioral and psychological levels, to underlying biological and physiological phenomenon.

Social, Cultural, and Behavioral Sciences Track Courses

Core courses (21 credit hours) 

  • GERO 711 Biology of Aging (3 credits)
  • GERO 681 Epidemiology of Aging (3 credits)
  • GERO 672 Issues in Aging Policy (3 credits)
  • GERO 786 Psychological Aspects of Aging (3 credits)
  • GERO 700 Sociocultural Gerontology (3 credits)
  • GERO 750 Theories/Methods I (3 credits) (taken first semester of first year)
  • GERO 751 Theories/Methods II (3 credits) (taken second semester of first year)

Research Methods/Statistics Courses Foundation (6 credits) 

Waived with approval, based on sufficient prior graduate training; taken first year 

  • SOCY 600 Research Methodology (3 credits)
  • SOCY 604 Statistical Analysis (3 credits)

Advanced analytical courses * (6 credits) 

Preferably a qualitative and an advanced multivariate 

  • ECON 611 Econometric Methods I (3 credits)
  • ECON 612 Advanced Econometric Methods II (3 credits)
  • NURS 816 Multivariate Analysis in Social and Health Care Research (3 credits)
  • NURS 817 Repeated Measures ANOVA Designs in Nursing and Health Care (3 credits)
  • NURS 826 Structural Equation Modeling in Health Care Research (3 credits)
  • POSI 607 Statistical Applications in Evaluation Research (3 credits)
  • PSYC 711 Multivariate Statistics (3 credits)
  • SOCY 605 Advanced Research and Evaluation Techniques (3 credits)
  • SOCY 608 Advanced Statistical Methods (3 credits)
  • SOCY 619 Qualitative Methods in Social Research (3 credits)

Track Specialization Courses * (9 credits) 

  • GERO XXX The Aging Self (3 credits)
  • GERO 742 Economics of Aging (3 credits)
  • SOCY 629 Aging in Cultural Context (3 credits)
  • SOCY 630 Sociology of Aging (3 credits)
  • SOCY 631 Family and Aging in Society (3 credits)
  • SOCY 632 Work and Retirement (3 credits)
  • SOCY 634 Gender and the Life Course (3 credits)

Electives* (6 credits) 

  • EDUC 605 The Adult Learner (3 credits)
  • PSYC 606 Adult Psychopathology (3 credits)
  • PSYC 653 Cultural Aspects of Human Development (3 credits)
  • SOCY 632 Work and Retirement (3 credits)
  • SOWK 726 Social Policies and Programs for the Aging (3 credits)
  • SOCY 652 Healthcare Organization and Delivery

* Track courses and Electives are not offered every year. Courses selected in consultation with the faculty advisor.

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