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Thomas M. Meuser
Margo Lea Hurwicz
Shirley L. Porterfield
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Professor of Gerontology
Clinical Psychologist & Applied Gerontologist
Director, Gerontology Program
Coordinator, UMSL Life Review Project
574A Clark Hall (north campus)
Office Hours: Tuesdays, 3-5, or by appointment. Schedule by e-mail (preferred) or telephone.
Education: PhD, Clinical Psychology, University of Missouri - St. Louis (1997); MS, Clinical Psychology, University of Missouri - St. Louis (1992); BA, Psychology, College of the Holy Cross (1986); HS Diploma (1982), Fairfield College Preparatory School (part of Fairfield University)
Courses: Aging in America: Concepts & Controversies (GERON/SOC 2170); Gerontological Assessment (GER/SW 6450), Interviewing Older Adults & Life Review (GER/SW 4130), Directed Research in Aging (GER 6510), Practicum in Gerontology (GER 6495), Advanced Practicum in Gerontology (GER 6496), Practicum in Gerontological Research (GER 6500)
Research Interests: Driver fitness & mobility transitions in aging; individual differences in readiness to cope with significant life changes; reminiscence & life review in advancing age; generativity and legacy beliefs; end of life preparation; loss and grief in aging; neuropsychology of aging; translation of research findings and professional education
Dr. Meuser's Primer Articles: GERONTOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT
Dr. Meuser joined the faculty of UM-St. Louis in August, 2007, as Director of the Gerontology Program in the School of Social Work. The Program moved to the new Department of Sociology, Gerontology & Gender (SGG) in 2015. He is a clinical psychologist and an applied gerontologist, and he coordinates the UMSL Life Review Project - a combined teaching, service and research initiative to facilitate integrative life story work in aging adults. He is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America (since 2011) and known internationally for his long-time work on older driver safety and more recent focus on life review in aging. He gave the morning keynote lecture at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the International Institute on Reminiscence & Life Review in New Orleans and presents most years at the Gerontological Society of America Annual Meeting.
His teaching interests include gerontological assessment, loss and grief in aging, and interviewing older adults and life review. Dr. Meuser is known for his work on older driver safety and mobility - important issues in our aging society. He has published on grief and loss issues in aging and dementia, including a widely used measure called the MM Caregiver Grief Inventory. Dr. Meuser and his long-time collaborator, Dr. Marla Berg-Weger, developed the Assessment of Readiness for Mobility Transition (ARMT) instrument in 2011 to facilitate person-centered mobility transition counseling with older adults. His present work examines legacy beliefs in older adults and their adult children (CLICK HERE).
He has received grant funding from the Alzheimer's Disease Centers Program of the National Institutes of Aging, the Alzheimer's Association, the State of Missouri's Alzheimer's Disease & Related Disorders Research Program, the National Center on Senior Transportation (a division of Easter Seals funded by the US Department of Transportation), the Missouri Department of Transportation, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. His work has been published in various journals, including the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society; OMEGA: Journal of Death & Dying, Death Studies, The Gerontologist, The American Family Physician, Social Work in Health Care, Journal of Gerontological Social Work, Accident Prevention & Analysis, Educational Gerontology: An International Journal, and Alzheimer's Disease & Associated Disorders.
From 1999-2007, Dr. Meuser was a research track faculty member in the Department of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He was promoted to Associate Professor there in 2006. He served as a research co-investigator (Core Leader) and Director of Education and Rural Outreach for the Washington University Knight Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (K-ADRC), one of 29 centers in the United States funded through the Alzheimer's Disease Centers Program, National Institute on Aging. His work at the ADRC involved developing, coordinating and otherwise presenting educational programs on cognitive aging and dementia for student, professional and community audiences. Dr. Meuser was a Clinical instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Saint Louis University School of Medicine from 1998-1999.
He lives in a drafty old house in an older suburb of St. Louis with his wife, Christy, their three boys, and dog, Oliver. In his spare time, he enjoys home repair projects, tennis, gardening and other outdoor activities, family game nights, and involvement with his kids' extracurricular activities, including Scouting.