Dr. Allison Gibson

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Assistant Professor

Allison K. Gibson, PHD, MSW, LISW-CP

659 Patterson Office Tower Lexington KY 40506


Dr. Allison Gibson is an Assistant Professor in the University of Kentucky's College of Social Work. She received her BSW, MSW, and PhD from the Ohio State University's College of Social Work. Dr. Gibson’s clinical and research focus is grounded in the biopsychological perspective for aging.  This holistic perspective is especially applicable to individuals and families of older persons with dementia. Within this context, Dr. Gibson has advanced knowledge and translated empirical findings into interventions to support families confronting crises and challenging life events.  Her research frequently examines individuals’ social support, psychological well-being, and health outcomes.  This work has also resulted in the creation of interventions to support individuals following a diagnosis of a terminal illness (i.e., Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment).  The biopsychosocial needs of the family as well as the individual are essential to consider when studying individuals as they approach end-of-life.   She is passionate about issues pertaining to poverty, housing, and housing affordability for older adults as well.  Dr. Gibson has also explored crisis and transition in the context of disaster: considering the needs of older persons before, during and after an event. The concepts and theoretical approaches used for these studies have varied depending on the context.

Dr. Gibson is passionate about geriatric social work education and is a long time member of the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work (AGESW). Dr. Gibson is currently the co-convener of the Gerontological Society of America's special interest group on Disasters and Older Adults. Previously she was an Albert Schweitzer Fellow (2012) and AmeriCorps member (2009). She frequently teaches coursework on poverty/inequality, clinical practice, policy and research methods.

Areas of Expertise

Alzheimer's Disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment

Family caregiving

Poverty, housing and housing affordability

Social work collaborations with EMS and fire department

Disasters and older adults

Aging and vulnerable populations

Areas of Interest for Mentoring Students

Alzheimer's Disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment

Aging and family caregiving

Crisis intervention

Death/dying, end of life issues, and grief

Expressive arts and clinical social work practice

Rural poverty

Program evaluation