News from APA’s Center for Workforce Studies
How many psychologists provide care to older adults?
1 U.S. Census Bureau. (2011). The Older Population: 2010 (C2010BR-09). Retrieved from www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-09.pdf
2 Hoge, M. A., Karel, M. J., Zeiss, A. M., Alegria, M., & Moye, J. (2015). Strengthening psychology’s workforce for older adults: Implications of the Institute of
Medicine’s report to Congress. American Psychologist, 70( 3), 265-278. doi: 10.1037/a0038927
3 American Psychological Association. (2015). Survey of Psychology Health Service Providers [Unpublished special analysis]. Washington, DC: Author.
4 Author is a member of the APA Committee on Aging’s Geropsychology Survey Working Group.
Between 2000 and 2010, the number of older
adults in the United States grew by 15 percent —
faster than the U.S. population as a whole. 1 By
2030, one in five Americans will be age 65 and
Psychology as a profession may not be
prepared to meet the behavioral health needs of
this population. 2
According to APA’s 2015 Survey of Psychology
Health Service Providers, 3 about 62 percent of
licensed psychologists occasionally, frequently
or very frequently provide care to adults age 65
and older. Yet the survey found that only about
1 percent of licensed psychologists reported
professional geropsychology as their primary
specialty. Relatively few psychologists provide
services to adults ages 80 and older, a fast-
growing segment of the older adult population.
Licensed psychologists who reported providing
care at least occasionally to older adults spent an
average of 8. 7 hours per week providing direct
services, 1. 6 hours providing services to family
members or caregivers of older adults and 0.8
hours consulting with or training health-care
Ongoing analyses will help to determine
whether practice patterns will meet the growing
need for psychological services among older
adults, such as whether psychologists are
sufficiently trained to provide services to an aging
— Karen Stamm, PhD, Auntré Hamp, MEd, MPH, Michele Karel4, PhD, Jennifer Moye4, PhD,
Sara Qualls4, PhD, Daniel Segal4, PhD, Yvette Tazeau4, PhD, Peggy Christidis, PhD, and Luona Lin, MPP
For more information, contact APA’s Center for Workforce Studies at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Percentage of psychologists who provide care
to older adults by age group and frequency
Older Adults (age 65–79) Oldest Old Adults (age 80+)