Psychology Professor Honored for Contributions to Geropsychology

Dr. Scogin winner of APA research award for his work on geropsychology
Dr. Scogin winner of APA research award for his work on geropsychology

From the October 2016 Desktop News Dr. Forrest Scogin, a professor of psychology at The University of Alabama, received the American Psychological Association Committee on Aging’s Award for the Advancement of Psychology and Aging at its annual convention in August.

Scogin, whose primary concentration is clinical geropsychology, researches mental health and aging, as well as psychotherapy and depression. He’s also affiliated with the Alabama Research Institute on Aging, a UA-based interdisciplinary research group that promotes the quality of life for older adults.

The APA praised Scogin for his commitment to evidenced-based practice that “encompasses science, practice, policy, and education,” according to a statement released by the APA.

“His extensive research on outcomes of psychotherapy has yielded innovative approaches to treatment of late-life depression,” the statement read. “Reaching beyond that, he has worked to find ways to make such treatment accessible and truly feasible. His contributions to development of clinical practice guidelines have given voice to the needs of older adults and reached beyond geropsychology to shape psychotherapy across the adult life span.”

Scogin said his greatest impact to the field and most meaningful to him is his 2007 study that examined the efficacy of home-delivered, cognitive-behavioral therapy in rural Alabama. The study, funded by the National Institute on Aging, showed improvement in the quality of life and psychological symptoms of the participants.

“It showed that we could deliver a psychological treatment in homes of rural, older adults, those who couldn’t make it to a clinic because of ailments or limited mobility,” Scogin said. “We had well-trained providers that went to their homes and provided cognitive behavior therapy, and people responded well to that intervention.”

Scogin said the field of geropsychology has grown tremendously in recent years, as have the opportunities for training. The APA cited Scogin’s commitment to education and mentoring and the impact it will have in continuing science and the profession of geropsychology.

“I’m glad to be a part of that growth,” Scogin said. “I certainly appreciate receiving this award.”