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.


  • 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

Simons, K. V., Bower, E. S., Gillespie, S. M., Mills, W. L. (in press). Care transitions to the community from VA nursing homes: Experiences of social connection and disconnection. JAMDA.

Sullivan, J. L., Engle, R. L., Shin, M. H., Davila, H., Tayade, A., Bower, E., Pendergast, J., & Simons, K. V. (in press). ‘Social connection and psychological adjustment psychosocial adjustment among older male Veterans who return to the community from VA nursing homes. Clinical Gerontologist.

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

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
  • Association for Psychological Science