Sara H. Qualls, Ph.D., ABPP


Sara H. Qualls, Ph.D., ABPP

Kraemer Family Professor of Aging Studies & Associate Director of Clinical Training
Lane Center 357
By Appointment

Professional Summary

Since 1984, Dr. Qualls has been a member of the Psychology faculty. She served as Department Chair (1993-2000), Director of Clinical Training (1987-96; 2004-07) and Director of the UCCS Aging Center (2016-2018). She teaches primarily at the graduate level, maintains a lab of research mentees, and conducts research on the caregiver program within the department's training clinic, the UCCS Aging Center. Other campus roles include Director of the Gerontology Center, and Faculty Director of the Lane Center for Academic Health Sciences. Dr. Qualls is currently serving as the Associate Director of Clinical Training.


  • Ph.D. Clinical Psychology with Minors in Adult Development and Aging; Brain Organization and Function, Pennsylvania State University, 1983
  • M.S. Clinical Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, 1979
  • B.S. Psychology, Middle Tennessee State University, 1977

Areas of Interest

Mental health and aging, family caregiving, integrated healthcare, senior housing and wellness, technology and aging.


Dr. Qualls teaches PSY 1100 (Professions of Psychology), PSY 5220 (Psychology of Aging 2), PSY 6730 (Cultural and Family Diversity), PSY 6610 (Clinical Geropsychology:  Settings and Contexts of Practice), PSY 6740 (Clinical Supervision) and PSY 6930 (Clinical Supervision and Consultation).  She also trains students at the UCCS Aging Center to provide caregiver interventions.


  • PSY 1100 - The Profession of Psychology
  • PSY 6610 - Clinical Geropsychology I
  • PSY 6730 - Diversity of Culture and Family: Professional Development II
  • PSY 6740 - Clinical Practicum (Aging Center)
  • PSY 6930 - Clinical Supervision and Consultation


  • ABPP in Clinical Geropsychology

Professional Experience

Dr. Qualls is a clinical psychologist who maintained a private practice for 22 years, and has served as an organizational consultant assisting with strategic planning for non-profits and academic units.

Representative Publications

  • Segal, D. H., Qualls, S. H., & Smyer, M. A. (2018).  Aging and mental health (3rd ed).  Hoboken, NJ:  Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Qualls, S. H. & Williams, A.A. (2013).  Caregiver family therapy.  Washington, DC:  American Psychological Association Press.
  • Qualls, S.H. (In press). Family caregiving.  In K. Ferraro & D. Carr (Eds.), Handbook of Aging and Social Sciences (9th ed.). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
  • O’Malley, K.A., & Qualls, S.H.  (2019).  Application of fidelity in tailored caregiver interventions. Aging and Mental Health. Published online 8-12-2019.  Doi:  10.1080/13607863.2019.1647134
  • Plys, E., & Qualls, S. H. (2019). Programmed activity attendance in assisted living:  An application of the theory of planned behavior with additional health factors.  Clinical Gerontologist. Published online 7-29-2019.  Doi:  10.1080/07317115.2019.1645781.
  • Bobitt, J., Qualls, S.H., Schuchman, M., Wickersham, R.H., Lum, H.D., Arora, K., Milavetz, G, & Kaskie, B.  (2019). A qualitative analysis of cannabis use among older Coloradans. Drugs & Aging, 36, 655-666. Doi: 10.1007/s40266-019-00665-w
  • Moye J, Karel MJ, Stamm KE, Qualls SH, Segal DL, Tazeau YN, DiGilio DA. (2019).  Workforce analysis of psychological practice with older adults:  Growing crisis requires urgent action.  Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 13, 46-55.  doi:
  • O’Malley, K. & Qualls, S.H.  (2017).  Preliminary evidence for the validity and reliability of the Caregiver Reaction Scale.  Clinical Gerontologist, 40, 281-294, doi: 10.1080/07317115.2016.1198858
  • O’Malley, K., & Qualls, S. H. (2016). Development and preliminary examination of the psychometric properties of the Behavior Problem Checklist.  Clinical Gerontologist, 39, 263-281. doi:  10.1080/07317115.2015.1121196.

Honors & Awards

  • Pikes Peak Leadership Institute, Mary Lou Makepeace Community Trustee, 2018
  • Society for Clinical Geropsychology, Distinguished Contribution Award, 2016
  • APA Committee on Aging Award for Distinguished Service to Profession, 2014
  • Colorado Gerontological Society Distinguished Pioneer in Aging Award, 2014
  • American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) Certification in Geropsychology, 2014
  • Society for Clinical Geropsychology, Distinguished Clinical Mentorship Award, 2012
  • CU Technology Transfer New Inventor of the Year at UCCS, 2009 
  • UCCS Endwoed Chair – Kraemer Family Professor of Aging Studies, 2006
  • Fellow, Gerontological Society of America
  • Fellow, American Psychological Association, (Divisions 20 and 12).
  • Bank One Community Service Award, University of Colorado System.
  • Cornelia Sabine Award for Outstanding Contributions to Psychology, El Paso County Psychological Society


  • American Psychological Association (Fellow)- multiple leadership roles within Divisions 20, and the Society of Clinical Geropsychology (Division 12-Section 2), member, Division 43.
  • Gerontological Society of America - Behavioral and Social Sciences Section
  • National Council of Family Relations
  • Psychologists in Long Term Care
  • Psychological Society of the Pikes Peak Region

Representative & Recent Service/Leadership Roles

  • Intergeneration Foundation, Trustee
  • APA Committee on Aging (2009-11; Chair 2011)
  • APA Inter-Organizational Work Group on Competencies for Psychological Practice in Primary Care (2012)
  • APA Geropsychology Workforce Working Committee (2010-14)
  • UCCS Psychology Department Associate Director of Clinical Training (2021-present)


  • Psychologist, State of Colorado

Curriculum Vitae