Emily Bower

Assistant Professor

Dr. Emily Bower is an Assistant Professor for the PhD Clinical Psychology Program. She received her PhD from the SDSU/UC San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology.

Dr. Bower’s research and clinical interests are in geriatric mental health with specializations in late-life suicide prevention and the assessment and treatment of anxiety, including fear of falling. The overarching goal of her research is to examine how we adjust to functional changes (cognitive, physical, social) as we age and to leverage that information to develop or adapt behavioral interventions to promote mental health and prevent suicide among older adults. She is the principal investigator for the Behavioral Health and Aging Research Lab at Pacific University.

Behavioral Health & Aging Research Lab



  • Postdoctoral Fellow, VA Advanced Fellowship Program in Mental Illness Research and Treatment (VISN 2 Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention), 2020
  • PhD, Clinical Psychology, San Diego State University/University of California San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, 2018
  • Pre-doctoral Internship, Salem VA Medical Center, 2018
  • MA, Psychology, San Diego State University, 2011
  • BA, Psychology, Magna Cum Laude, Willamette University, 2002

Recent Publications

Sullivan, J. L., Engle, R. L., Shin, M. H., Davila, H., Tayade, A., Bower, E., Pendergast, J., & Simons, K. V. (2021). ‘Social connection and psychological adjustment psychosocial adjustment among older male Veterans who return to the community from VA nursing homes. Clinical Gerontologist, 44(4), 450-459. doi: 10.1080/07317115.2020.1812141

Van Orden, K. A., Bower, E., Beckler, T. Rowe, J., & Gillespie, S. (2021). The Use of Robotic Pets with Older Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Clinical Gerontologist, 45(1):189-194. doi: 10.1080/07317115.2021.1954122

Hilgeman, M., Simons, K., Bower, E. S., Jacobs, M. L., Hagemann, L., Eichorst, M, Luci, K. (2021). Improving suicide risk detection and clinical follow-up after discharge from nursing homes. Clinical Gerontologist, 44(5), 536-543. doi: 10.1080/07317115.2021.1927280

Dozier, M. E., & Bower, E. S. (2022). Assessment and treatment of hoarding disorder in rural-dwelling older adults. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 53(5), 458-465. https://doi.org/10.1037/pro0000422

Simons, K. V., Bower, E. S., Gillespie, S. M., Mills, W. L. (2021). Care transitions to the community from VA nursing homes: Experiences of social connection and disconnection. JAMDA, 22(3), 682-688. doi.org/10.1016/j.jamda.2020.07.029

Van Orden, K. A., Bower, E., Lutz, J., Silva, C., Gallegos, A. M., Podgorski, C. A., Santos, E. J., & Conwell, Y. (2020). Strategies to promote social connections among older adults during ‘social distancing’ restrictions. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

Wetherell, J. L., Ripperger, H. S., Voegtle, M., Ances, B. M., Balota, D., Bower, E. S., Depp, C., Eyler, L., Foster, E. R., Head, D., Hershey, T., Hickman, S., Kamantigue, N., Klein, S., Miller, J. P., Yingling, M. D., Nichols, J., Nicol, G. E., Patterson, B. W., Rodebaugh, T. L., Shimony, J. S., Snyder, A., Stephens, M. Tate, S., Uhrich, M. L., Wing, D., Wu, G. F., & Lenze, E. J. (in press). Mindfulness, EDucation, and EXercise for Age-Related Cognitive Decline (MEDEX): Study Protocol, Pilot Study Results, and Description of the Baseline Sample. Clinical Trials: Journal of the Society for Clinical Trials.

Bower, E. S., Wetherell, J. L., Petkus, A. J., & Lenze, E. J. (2020). Neuroticism predicts fear of falling after hip fracture. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 35(5), 498-506.

Mournet, A., Bower, E. S., Van Orden, K. (2020). Domains of functional impairment and their associations with thwarted belonging and perceived burden in older adults. Clinical Gerontologist, 43(1), 95-103. doi: 10.1080/07317115.2019.1650406.

Luci, K., Simons, K., Hagemann, L., Jacobs, L., Bower, E., Eichorst, M., & Hilgeman, M. (2020). SAVE-CLC: An Intervention to Reduce Suicide Risk in Older Veterans Following Discharge from VA Nursing Facilities. Clinical Gerontologist, 43(1), 95-103. doi: 10.1080/07317115.2019.1666444.

Recent Presentations (*denotes student/trainee/mentee)

Mai, J.*, Loskot, T.*, Newman, A.*, Bower, E., & Van Orden, K. (2022, April 28). Evaluating the validity of the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale for lonely older adults [Poster presentation]. 2022 Western Psychological Conference, Portland, OR.

Madrigal, C., Bower, E., Simons, K., Gillespie, S. M., Van Orden, K., & Mills, W. L. (2021). Assessing social functioning during COVID-19 and beyond: Tools and considerations for nursing home staff. JAMDA, 22(10), 1989-1997. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2021.07.022

Bower, E. S., Newman, A*, Reohr, P.*, Van Orden, K. A. (2021, November). Social connection planning for lonely or social isolated older adults. In J. Lee (Chair), Social Connection in Times of Physical Distancing. Symposium to be conducted at the annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, Phoenix, AZ.

Simons, K., Hilgeman, M., Luci, K., Hagemann, L., Jacobs, L., Bower, E., & Eichorst, M. (2020, November). SAVE-CLC: An intervention to reduce suicide risk in Veterans who discharge from nursing homes. Poster session presented at the annual meeting of the Gerontological Association of America, online.

Bower, E. S., Van Orden, K., Lenze, E. (2020, June). Suicidal ideation and function after hip fracture among adults 65 years and older. URMC Poster Day, Rochester, NY.

Bower, E. S., Simons, K., Walsh, P. G., Ashrafioun, L., Van Orden, K. A., & Bishop, T. M. (2019, November). Physical conditions associated with suicide attempts: Do risks differ among our older Veterans? In A. Ebert & E. Bower (Co-Chairs), Late-life Suicide: Identifying Prevention Targets and Mobilizing Communities to Manage Risk. Symposium conducted at the annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, Austin, TX.

Simons, K., Mills, W., Bower, E., Gillespie, S., & Van Orden, K. (2019, November). Social functioning as an important clinical target during care transitions from skilled nursing facilities. Poster session presented at the annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, Austin TX.

Simons, K., Luci, K., Hagemann, L., Jacobs, M.L., Bower, E.S., Eichorst, M.K. & Hilgeman, M.M. (2019, November). Addressing an unmet need for mental health support during care transitions from nursing facilities. In N. Kusmaul (Chair), Living in and leaving nursing homes: The factors that contribute to quality of life, health, and safety outcomes. Symposium conducted at the annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, Austin TX.

Bower, E. S., Van Orden, K., Lenze, E. (2019, April). The emergence of suicidal ideation after hip fracture in older adults. Medical and psychiatric concerns. Symposium conducted at the annual meeting of the American Association of Suicidology., Denver, CO.


  • Applied Clinical Psychology
  • Practicum I: Clinical Science

Professional Memberships & Affiliations

  • The Gerontological Society of America
  • APA Division 12/2 Society for Clinical Geropsychology