Doctoral Dissertation

Caspi, E. (2010). Preventing agitative behaviors and encouraging positive emotions among elders with memory-loss who live in an assisted living residence. Doctoral dissertation: University of Massachusetts Boston.

The 10-month direct observation study was conducted in two special care units for persons with memory-loss in an assisted living residence. The study focused on 12 residents who on a continual basis experienced the highest levels of negative emotional states and distressing behavioral expressions.

Main findings of the study:
1. Many negative emotional states and distressing behaviors occurred during time periods in which the residents were on their own (unsupervised).
2. Episodes of verbal and physical aggressive behaviors between residents and the strategies used by the staff to prevent and de-escalate them.
3. Wayfinding difficulties.
4. Positive effects of various forms of organized activities.

The Abstract and Executive Summary of the dissertation study are available upon request.


Dissertation Committee members: Chair: Frank G. Caro

Committee members: Donna Haig Friedman, Ph.D., Ann C. Hurley, RN, DNSc, FAAN & Jeff A. Burr, Ph.D.


My classmates at the end of my defense on January 6, 2010dowload-222

My wife Caitlin Eicher Caspi ScD