Research and Publications

The Institute on Aging faculty is composed of a multidisciplinary group of nationally and internationally recognized scholars. Substantive and theoretical perspectives are represented from such social science disciplines as psychology, sociology, political science, urban studies, economics, social work, speech communication, and public administration.

Here is a sampling of some of the research currently happening at the Institute on Aging:


Forecasting Populations of Older Persons

Pacific NW Regional Economic Conference - Tacoma, Washington -  May 2018
Richard Lycan, Senior Research Associate, Institute on Aging, Portland State University

Two Forecasting Models for Portland, Oregon: Hamilton-Perry vs Metropscope

Presentation at the Association of American Geographers Conference, Boston Massachusetts, April, 2017, by Richard Lycan (Senior Research Associate, PSU, Institute on Aging, Portland State University) - the results of the two forecasts for Portland are very different!

The Growing Imperative for Age-Friendly Communities

Places that take the needs of an aging population seriously now will fare best over the long haul. By Adam Davis.

The Case for Age-Friendly Communities

A Place to Grow up and Grow Old...
The movement toward age-friendly communities is growning nationally and internationally.  The focus is on ways to help people age in their community of choice, but the approach goes beyond what individuals themselves can do to age optimally to include how the economic, physical and social environments of communities can be improved to address not only the needs but also maximize the assets of an aging population, for the benefit of all.

This document, commissioned by Grandmakers In Aging, details various reasons why creating an age- friendly community makes good sense economically and socially,  The reasons are supported by research conducted by academicians, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and corporations.  The sources for the information included are provided in the endnotes, which can be consulted for further details. Although informed primarily by U.S, data and trends, the document provides information that may be useful for communities elsewhere in the world, as well.

 Authors: Margaret B. Neal, Ph.D., and Alan DeLaTorre, Ph.D. of the PSU Institute on Aging, alson with colleagues Kevin E. Cahill, Ph.D., ECONorthwest, and Boston College, Center on Aging & Work, Nicole Iroz-Elardo, Ph.D., PSU Toulan School of Urban Studies & Planning, Jost Lottes, Ph.D., PSU Institute on Aging, and Donald Truxillo, Ph.D., PSU Department of Psychology.   Click here for the Executive Summary:
Click here for the full report:                                   

Resident and Community Characteristics Report 2014

 Oregon Community-Based Care Project

Paula Carder, PhD, Project Director -503.725.5144

Sheryl Elliott, MUS, Project Manager

These reports describe the results of three studies founded in community-based care settings in Oregon.  One study describes characteristics of residents in assisted living, residential care, and memory care communities; the second study describes characteristics of adult foster care home residents and staff; and the third describes Medicaid clients who lived in one of these types of community-based care settings.          - Connect to all of the most recent Community-Based Care Reports -                                                                                                        Affordable Housing with Services                                                         

Contact: Paula Carder, PhD, Project Director - 503.725.5144

  • These reports describe the results of a recent evaluation of an affordable housing with services program in Portland, OR.                                             The program took place in 11 low-income apartment buildings with over 1,400 residents. The evaluation was supported by Oregon's State Innovation Model (SIM) grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Funding Opportunity Number CMS-1G1-12-001.      
  •     Housing with Services - Year 1 Evaluation 2015                                                             Housing with Services Executive Summary 2015                                                                                            Housing with Services Full Report 103116                                                                                                      Housing with Services Executive Summary 103116     

By Suzanne Pardington Effros

Consumer Satisfaction with Aging & Disability Resources Connection of OregonThe report describes the fourth round of consumer satisfaction surveys that were conducted with people who had been in contact with the Information & Referral/Assistance (I&R/A) Call Center or received Options Counseling (OC) services of Aging and Disabilities Resource Connection (ADRC) of Oregon. Data for this survey were collected in November 2014. This Executive Report summarizes and presents data on overall satisfaction, conclusions, and recommendations for the ADRC program. More information
Older Adult Behavioral Health Investment Project

Diana White, PhD, Linda Dreyer, MSW, MPH, Julie Reynolds, PhD, Alice Scannell, PhD, Serena Worthington

Senior Mental Health Specialist Investment

Awarded a contract from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) In July 2014, the IOA interviewed stakeholders to better understand how older adults with mental and behavioral health needs are served in Oregon. Following that report, the IOA developed a plan to address training needs of mental health and aging services providers, as well as primary care providers and the general public. Working with content experts, the IOS is developing a training program for these audiences and will begin offering training spring of 2015. The OHA is now in the process of placing Older Adult Behavioral Health Specialists (OABHS) in local communities or within regional organizations in the State of Oregon to improve services for older adults. The IOA will provide support to the OABHS through a variety of community capacity building activities. Coming Soon - link to trainings and a project resource Webliography


AARP - Evaluating Your Age-Friendly Community Program. A Step-By-Step Guide

Dr. Margaret B. Neal and Iris Wernher, MS.

Evaluating Your Age-Friendly Community ProgramDeveloped for AARP, This guide is part of AARP's Network of Age Friendly Cities and Communities "Toolkit".


Coalition for a livable Future's 12th Annual Regional Livability Summit - 2014                                                                                   Dr. Margaret B. Neal and Iris Wernher

Presentations on "Aging and Equity in the Region" from the Institute on Aging - Drs. Alan DeLaTorre and Dick Lycan - with community partners Bobby Weinstock (NW Pilot Project) and Lee Girard (Multnomah County Aging and Disability Services).

Student Research

Here are some examples of research done by IOA students:

  • Encouraging Respect for Aging - A Program of Q Center  ( Serena Hasworth, graduate student)
  • The effect of work-based training on direct care workers’ job satisfaction. (Cynthia Lopez, graduate student)
  • How neighborhood-based social networks affect the quality of older persons’ lives. (Gretchen Luhr, doctoral student)
  • How direct care workers use humor to improve the care of persons with dementia who reside in assisted living facilities. (Ann McQueen, doctoral student)
  • Intentional communities for elders who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. (Kathleen Sullivan, PhD)
  • State policy responses to manufactured home closures in Oregon. Mobile homes are an important form of affordable housing for many older persons. (Andree Tremoulet, PhD)
  • "Challenges, Experiences, and Future Directions of Senior Centers Serving the Portland Metropolitan Area."(Dissertation, Melissa L. Cannon, Ph.D.)