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CAS 421 - Communication and Aging

Professor: Jon F. Nussbaum
Office: 319 Sparks
Phone: (814) 863-3619
Email: jfn5@psu.edu 

Communication and Aging concentrates on the pivotal role that communication plays in the social process of aging. An understanding of the communicative behavior of older adults can result in significant improvements in our ability not only to describe the essential components of a quality life, but to intervene in the various factors that help each of us adapt to the many physiological, psychological, social and economic challenges of the aging process. Students will master the basic elements of physical aging, psychological aging, social aging, and the role communication plays in each of these interdependent processes. Special attention will be given to the significant decisions that older adults are confronted with in their family, friendship and their professional-health related relationships.

Course Objectives

  1. To understand that communication is at the core of our understanding of the aging process.
  2. To appreciate the developmental nature of our family relationships across our entire life span.
  3. To engage in a research project within the domain of communication and older adulthood.
  4. To identify the complex communicative transactions that occur when an older adult engages with the health care system.