Research Programs

Dr. Jeffrey Buchanan

Minnesota state university

Dr. Jeffrey Buchanan is a Professor of Psychology at Minnesota State University, Mankato. He received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno. The overarching theme of his research concerns improving the quality of life of older adults, particularly those with neurocognitive disorders, and their caregivers. More specifically, he conducts research related to the impact of elderspeak on older adults, the use of stimulus preference assessment with cognitively impaired individuals, age-related microaggressions, how normal development in older adulthood is pathologized by younger adults, instruction types and their effect on compliance with instructions in individuals with severe cognitive impairment, and the use of behavioral interventions for people with neurocognitive disorders. He has published work in outlets such as the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Behavior Modification, The Gerontologist, Clinical Gerontologist, and the Journal of Aging Studies. He had also edited special issues related to behavioral gerontology in Behavior Therapy (2011) as well as Behavior Analysis: Research and Practice (2018).

Dr. Buchanan is the Director of the Clinical Psychology (Master of Arts) Program at MSU, Mankato. The distinguishing feature of our program is the emphasis on preparing students for advanced study at the doctoral level. We are proud of our long history of successfully placing students in doctoral programs in clinical and school psychology as well as applied behavior analysis. In addition, our program emphasizes developing research skills and our faculty regularly publish and present their work. Finally, our program focuses on teaching evidence-based assessment and intervention techniques rooted in behavior analytic and cognitive behavioral theories.

Dr. Leilani Feliciano joined the faculty at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs in 2007. She is a Clinical Psychologist by training and specializes in both geropsychology and behavioral medicine. She is a full professor and has served as the Director of Clinical Training for the Psychology Department since 2017. Dr. Feliciano teaches a number of courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level and supervises a clinical practicum rotation through the UCCS Aging Center. In addition to her roles as an educator and clinical supervisor, Dr. Feliciano maintains an active research program, mentoring graduate and undergraduate students within her lab. Her research program broadly targets the intersection between mental and physical health, cognition, and aging. Specifically, Dr. Feliciano’s primary research interest is in studying and applying behavioral interventions for clinical problems and mental disorders in midlife and older adulthood, an area known as behavioral gerontology. Specific areas of interest include late-life depression, sleep disturbances, managing co-morbid psychological and medical problems, and behavioral problems associated with dementia. She has published a number of studies related to behavioral gerontology including assessing preferences in older adults with dementia, interventions to reduce ‘agitated’ behaviors in older adults with dementia, and behavioral interventions to manage health behaviors in middle-aged and older adults.

About the University of Colorado Colorado Springs program: Established in 2004, the UCCS Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program has two major areas of study including Geropsychology and Trauma. The Geropsychology area of study follows the Pikes Peak Model of Competencies in Geropsychology. As such, the program trains students to be both scientists, as well as clinicians. Students graduate with competencies in mental health diagnosis, assessment, and intervention for adults and older adults, and in basic and applied research on the psychological functioning of adults and aging individuals. Upon completion of the program, students are prepared to work in a range of settings, including clinical practices, hospitals, nursing homes, academia, research institutes, and as consultants to a wide variety of housing and social service providers to adults and older adults. Students within Dr. Feliciano’s research lab graduate with experience in applied research and exposure to a range of clinical and research tools (e.g., single case design, group design, meta-analysis, research using online crowdsourcing platforms).

Educational Opportunities

MSc applied behavior analysis

Reykjavik University

The MSc in Applied Behavior Analysis at Reykjavik University in Iceland is a two-year program with a focus on teaching the science of behavior analysis. The main content of the program is the 5th edition verified course sequence (VCS) in addition to teaching the applications of ABA when working with different client groups. One of the courses students take is Brain, Aging, and Behavior Analysis (6 ECTS) where they learn about the different types of neurocognitive disorders (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease) and traumatic brain injury. The students touch upon different non-pharmacological interventions in geriatric care but the main emphasis is behavioral gerontology. Students also have the opportunity to complete their masters thesis in behavioral gerontology working with older adults in long-term care settings such as nursing homes or hospitals.

The language of instruction is English. For further information about the program, visit the website.