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Family, Consumer, and Human Development


Kathleen W. Piercy

Ph.D., Professor

Email: kathy.piercy@usu.edu
Location: FL 219
Office Phone: 797.2387

Research Interests

Family Caregiving

Dementia caregivers, theorizing about caregiving, intergenerational caregivers, caregiver health and well-being

Health Care Services for Older Adults and their Families

Service utilization patterns of older adults and their families, relations between home care workers and employing families

Adult Development

Identity development through leisure and volunteer activities in adulthood


Ph.D. - Family and Child Development, 1996, Virginia Tech
M.S.W. - Social Work, 1974, Tulane University
A.B. - Psychology, 1972, St. Louis University

USU Teaching

Families in Mid to Later Life (FHD 420)
Families in Crisis (FHD 412)
Family Social Policy (FHD 4230)
Family and Social Gerontology (FHD 4240)
Seminar in Family Relations (FHD 6010)
Qualitative Methods in Family Research (FCHD 6900 / 7900)
Aging and Families (FCHD 6200)
Seminar in Close Personal Relationships (FHD 6910/7910)
Graduate Family Social Policy (FCHD 6230/7230)
Family Theories (FCHD 6070)
Advanced Research and Theory in Family Relations (FCHD 7070)

Other Teaching Experience

Introduction to Sociology (100 level)
Social Problems (200 level)
Social Welfare Policy (300 level)
Human Behavior in the Social Environment (300 level)
Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention (400 level)
Intervention Methods in Social Work I & II (400 level)

Administrative Duties

Coordinator of Gerontology Program, 2000 - 2003
Graduate Admissions Coordinator, 2003 - 2006
Coordinator of the MFHD Distance Education Program, 2002-present

Other Interests

Family policy; qualitative research methods in family science and gerontology

Recent Publications


Piercy, K. W. (2010). Working with aging families: Therapeutic solutions for caregivers, spouses & adult children. New York, NY: W. W. Norton, Inc.

Book Chapter

Piercy, K. W. (2009). A trip to the school of hard knocks: Recruiting participants from health service agencies for qualitative studies of aging. In D. L. Streiner & S.Sidani (Eds.). When Research Goes Off The Rails (pp. 113-118). New York: Guilford Press.

Journal Articles

Norton, M. C., Smith, K. R., Ostbye, T., Tschanz, J. T., Corcoran, C., Schwartz, S., Piercy, K. W., Rabins, P. V., Steffens, D. C., Skoog, I., Breitner, J. C. S., & Welsh-Bohmer, K. A. (2010). Greater risk of dementia when spouse has dementia?  The Cache County study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 58, 895-900.

Norton, M.C., Piercy, K.W., Rabins, P.V., Green, R. C., Breitner, J.C.S., Ostbye, T. Corcoran, C., Welsh-Bohmer, K. A., Lyketsos, C.G., & Tschanz, J.T.,  (2009).  Caregiver-recipient closeness and symptom progression in Alzheimer disease. The Cache County dementia progression study. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 64B, 560-568.

Delgadillo, L., Erickson, L.V., & Piercy, K. W.  (2008). Disentangling the differences between abusive and predatory lending: Professionals’ perspectives. The Journal of Consumer Affairs, 42, 313-334.

Piercy, K.W. (2007). Characteristics of strong commitments to intergenerational family care of older adults. Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 62B, S381-387    Book

Other Activities

Editorial Board, Family Relations, The Gerontologist
Editor, Practice Concepts section, The Gerontologist