Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Gerontology Key to Future of Society

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Gerontology Key to Future of Society

Article excerpt

AUSTRALIANS are living longer, challenging society to take steps to better support a growing ageing population.

To improve our understanding of life for older Australians, the University of Southern Queensland offers a number of gerontology programs, delving into the study of ageing, including the process and societal and medical implications.

USQ intends to expand on this suite of course offerings as part of USQ's School of Psychology and Counselling commitment to provide degrees focused on community needs.

Enter Professor Bob Knight, an internationally renowned gerontology expert new to the USQ community.

Professor Knight spent nearly 30 years at the University Of Southern California School Of Gerontology - a world leader in the study of ageing.

With more than 100 journal articles, chapters, and books, Professor Knight has published extensively on the topic of mental health and ageing, with a particular focus on psychotherapy and caregiving.

He is also the editor of the Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences; authored the book Psychotherapy with Older Adults and co-authored Psychological Assessment and Therapy with Older Adults.

He has now brought his wealth of expertise and experience from the US to Australia and USQ.

"Gerontology is a multi-disciplinary field and has emerged to become a discipline in its own right, focused on studying developmental ageing and also looking at older adults as a specific population within society," Professor Knight said.

"In the US, it's been an integrated field of study spanning biology, physical medicine, psychology, sociology and social policy - many kinds of approaches. But I think elsewhere in the world, including Australia, gerontology has been a more distinct area focused more on social science and social policy rather than psychology and geriatric medicine. …

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