Research Overview

Dr. Dan Segal

Welcome to my Aging and Mental Health Lab!

I have been directing this lab since 1995 and I welcome your comments, thoughts, and participation. If you are interested in potentially joining my lab as an undergraduate or graduate student, please contact me via email to discuss opportunities.

My research program targets topics in the area of mental health and aging, including diagnostic and assessment issues in clinical psychology and geropsychology, suicide resilience and aging, anxiety and aging, barriers to mental health services, and the expression and impact of personality disorders across the lifespan.

Within these areas, the lab is addressing the following topics and questions:

  • An overarching emphasis is on the evaluation of the psychometric properties and clinical utility of assessment measures for psychopathology including measures not designed for older adults (for example, the Beck Depression Inventory) and measures specifically designed for older adults (for example, the Geriatric Suicide Ideation Scale; the Geriatric Anxiety Scale).
  • In the suicide area, we are interested in understanding and exploring risk and resilience factors for suicide in later-life. Some questions we are addressing include: How does personality and coping relate to risk and resilience for suicide in later-life? What are the applications and limitations of Joiner’s Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicide as it applies to older adults? How does self-harm manifest in older adults? What are some of the cultural scripts that confer risk and resilience for suicide in later life, and how do these scripts differ on the basis of gender, ethnicity, etc…
  • In the anxiety area, we are using the Geriatric Anxiety Scale (GAS; a measure developed in the lab) to understand the phenomenology and expression of anxiety-related psychopathology in older adults. In addition, we are actively translating the measure into different languages and conducting validation studies of the translated measure, often in collaboration with research groups in other countries. Some of the languages for which translation studies have been completed or are underway include Spanish, German, Persian, Chinese, Turkish, and Italian.
  • In the barriers to mental health services area, we are using a self-report measure developed in the lab called the Barriers to Mental Health Service Scale, to understand the major factors that relate to the relatively low utilization of mental health services among older adults. In future studies, we want to explore and quantify barriers to mental health services in diverse types of older adult populations, including minorities, rural older adults, etc…
  • In the personality disorders area, research projects typically focus on the expression and impact of personality disorders in the unique context of later life. Some questions we are addressing include: What are the relationships between personality pathology and other forms of psychopathology and clinical problems including mood disorders, psychosis, anxiety disorders, and suicidal behaviors. What are the key issues that affect diagnosis and assessment of personality disorders in later-life?

By clicking on the tabs on the top of this page, you can access representative publications in each research area. You can also see my published books.

Here's how to reach me:

Voice: (719) 255-4176

Fax : (719) 255-4166


Aging and Mental Health Lab