Faculty Research

Nursing Home Diversion Program Evaluation 
Investigators: Karen A. Roberto, Nancy Brossoie
Funded By: Virginia Department for the Aging (VDA)

Project Description: The Center for Gerontology will serve as the external evaluator for Virginia's Nursing Home Diversion Modernization Grant. The evaluation will include a process and outcome evaluation, with a primary focus on program outcomes for the individual clients, and where appropriate, their family caregivers.

 

Caregivers of Persons with Mild Cognitive Impairment: Family Dynamics and Diversity
Investigators: Karen A. Roberto, Rosemary Blieszner
Funded By: National Alzheimer's Association

Project Description: The purpose of this study is to examine the characteristics, responses, and relationships within families who have a relative diagnosed with MCI, with particular focus on the family's demographic conditions (SES, race, ethnicity, rurality) and psychosocial well-being.

 

Intimate Partner Violence in Rural Aging Women: Promoting Community Knowledge
Investigators: Karen A. Roberto, Nancy Brossoie
Funded By: National Institutes of Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD) and the Office of the Director (OD)

Project Description: The purpose of this collaborative partnership between the Center for Gerontology at Virginia Tech and the Women's Resource Center of the New River Valley is to enhance service professionals' knowledge of IPV of aging women as they engage in a process for developing a strategic model of intervention to address the needs of women in their community.

 

Appalachian Community Cancer Network
Investigator: Karen A. Roberto
Funded By: National Institute of Health

Project Description: To participate in Appalachia Community Cancer Network through continued development of a core organizational infrastructure to support community-based participatory activities and research to reduce cancer health disparities.

 

Caring for a Spouse with Mild Cognitive Impairment: Daily Challenges, Martial Relations, and Physiological Indicators of Heath
Investigators: Karen A. Roberto, Rosemary Blieszner, Jyoti Savla
Funded By: Alzheimer's and Related Diseases Research Award Fund

Project Description: This research assesses the daily frequency and intensity of behaviors and symptoms associated with MCI and their effects on the marriage and spouse care partners' health and well being.

 

Southern Albemarle County Intergenerational Community Center Needs Assessment
Investigator: Shannon Jarrott
Funded By: Albemarle County Department of Social Services

Project Description: Determine the need for childcare, the willingness of parents/caregivers to access childcare, and the interest and willingness of age 50+ adults to attend a senior center in Albermarle county.

 

Evaluation of Generations United On-Line Resource Center
Investigator: Shannon Jarrott
Funded By: Generations United

Project Description: Capture baseline measures of the level of use of the Generations United On-line Resource Center and evaluate what segments of the site are accessed and most used. Develop and post a survey on the website that will provide instant feedback on the utility of information accessed and the ease in navigating the Center.

 

New River Valley Agency on Aging 2007 Needs Assessment 
Investigators:  Karen A. Roberto
Funded By:  New River Valley Agency on Aging

Project Description:  The Center for Gerontology will conduct an assessment of current and future needs of older adults and their families living in the NRV/AoA service area.

 

Perceptions of Elder Mistreatment in Rural Virginia Communities 
Investigators:  Karen A. Roberto
Funded By:  U.S. Department of Agriculture, State Agricultural Experiment Stations

Project Description:  The purpose of this project is to develop and pilot test an assessment tool to examine rural community resident’s perspectives on elder mistreatment (EM) and their rediness to take action against it.

 

Understanding Mild Cognitive Impairment: Family Dynamics And Diversity
Investigators:  Karen A. Roberto, Rosemary Blieszner
Funded By:  National Alzheimer’s Association

Project Description:  The specific aim of this study is to identify key variables that place families of persons with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) at risk for poor psyhosocial outcomes.  Understanding family responses to early memory loss will provide useful information for the planning and delivery of services and programs and for the tailoring of education and itnerventions for sub-groups of families dealing with MCI.

 

Comparing Operational Costs of Shared Site Facilities Based on Level of Operational Integration of Expenditures and Level of Intergenerational Activity
Investigators:  Shannon E. Jarrott
Funded By:  Generations United

Project Description:  The purpose of this project is to determine costs of implementing intergenerational shared site facilities.

 

Aging Families in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
Investigators: Tammy Henderson, Karen A. Roberto, Yoshinori Kamo
Funded By: National Science Foundation

Project Description: The overall goal of this study is to identify key relations among and between multiple variables that influence functioning in aging families as they struggle to regain a sense of normalcy to their lives in the aftermath of this major natural disaster.

 

Public Guardian/Conservators in Virginia: Statewide Needs Assessment
Investigators: Karen A. Roberto
Funded By: Virginia Department of Aging (VDA)

Project Description: This project will determine the current unmet need and will project unmet need for fiscal years 2010, 2015, and 2025 for Public Guardian/Conservators in Virginia.

 

Intergenerational Training Network Evaluation
Investigators: Shannon Jarrott
Funded By: Temple University

Project Description: The goals of the project are to provide standardized training to a network of trainers who will provide training on fostering intergenerational programs to non-profit organizations, educators, and human services providers.

 

Caregivers of Persons With Mild Cognitive Impairment: Information and Support Needs
Investigators: Karen A. Roberto, Rosemary Blieszner
Funded By: National Alzheimer's Association

Project Description: The purpose of this 3-year research project is to develop an efficient set of items that will serve as key indicators of information and support needs of family caregivers of older adults with mild cognitive impairment.

 

Horticultural therapy for persons with dementia: Advancing preliminary research
Investigators: Shannon E. Jarrott, P. D. Relfr
Funded By: Virginia Center on Aging, Alzheimer’s and Related Diseases Research Award Fund

Project Description: The purpose of this study is to assess the impact of a regular horticultural therapy (HT) program on a large sample of adults with dementia enrolled in an adult day service or residential care program.

 

Rural Older Virginians with Chronic Health Conditions: Behavioral and Psychosocial Influences on Quality of Life
Investigators: Karen A. Roberto
Funded By: United States Department of Agriculture (Virginia Tech - Hatch Project)

Project Description: The purpose of this 5-year research project is to examine the functional, psychological, and social consequences of living with different types of chronic health problems, and will identify management strategies used by older adults to maintain a satisfying quality of life.

 

Quality Assessment: The Elderly and Disabled Waiver Program
Investigators: Karen A. Roberto, Pamela B. Teaster, Anne H. Glass
Funded By: Center for Medicare and Medicaid / Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services

Project Description: This project addresses gaps in quality assurance and client satisfaction for community-based waiver service programs through the development of performance, outcomes, and satisfaction measures for continuous quality improvement and use.

 

Nursing Home Employees: Community Ecology and Retention
Investigators: Karen A. Roberto, Jay A. Mancini
Funded By: National Institute on Aging

Project Description: The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of using an ecological-community capacity model, an approach that accounts for individual, family, and community influences on retention in the long term care workplace, to identify key relationships among and between multiple variables that influence retention of nursing home employees.

 

Older Families in Rural Communities: Personal & Social Influences on Service Use
Investigators: Karen A. Roberto, Rosemary Blieszner
Funded By: National Research Institute Competitive Grants Program, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Project Description: The overall goal of this project was to gather data from older adults and their family caregivers living in rural southwest Virginia to learn how health and community-based services can win greater acceptability as a suitable complement to, or when necessary, alternative to, family caregiving.

 

Older Adults' Perceptions of Family Relationships
Investigators: Katherine R. Allen, Karen A. Roberto, Rosemary Blieszner
Funded By: Virginia Tech ASPIRES Program

Project Description: This project is grounded in a feminist, life span developmental approach to understanding the lives of society's elders. Through in-depth face-to-face interviews with 45 women and men aged 56 to 88 years who resided in southwest Virginia, we explored family of origin and family of procreation structures and characteristics, emotional closeness and support, normative expectations, perceptions of and experiences with various types of family diversity, and psychological well being.

 

Trends in Family Gerontology Research
Investigators: Karen A. Roberto, Rosemary Blieszner, Katherine A. Allen
Funded By: Center for Gerontology

Project Description: We have established a data base of approximately 1,000 articles published in leading gerontology, family studies, and personal relationships journals from 1990-1999. Information coded for the articles includes focal topics, theoretical frameworks, sample size and demographic characteristics, geographic location, design, and methods of data collection and analysis. Analyses of the data base are aimed at identifying and critiquing resources available for research, policy, practice, and education in family gerontology.

 

Longitudinal Follow-up of Friendship Research Participants: Feasibility Study
Investigators: Rosemary Blieszner
Funded By: Virginia Tech ASPIRES Program

Project Description: This project involves two purposes. The first is to evaluate the feasibility of using national death record search services (The Center for Disease Control's National Death Index and ChoicePoint, Inc.) to establish mortality status for participants in a study conducted in 1992. The second is to develop an analytic strategy for predicting mortality status from the 1992 friendship data.

 

Filling the Unmet Need: A Comparative Study of Rural and Urban Programs of Public Guardianship
Investigators: Karen A. Roberto, Pamela B. Teaster
Funded By: The Borchard Foundation Center on Law and Aging

Project Description: The purpose of this study was to explore similarities and differences between clients and client outcomes of a public guardianship rural model with a volunteer component to those of a public guardianship urban model using exclusively paid staff.