Sara H. Qualls, Ph.D., ABPP

Headshot of Sara Qualls.

Sara H. Qualls, Ph.D., ABPP

Professor Emerita
Years of Service: 1984-2023

Professional Summary

Since 1984, Dr. Qualls was a member of the Psychology faculty. She served as Department Chair (1993-2000), Director of Clinical Training (1987-96; 2004-07), Director of the UCCS Aging Center (2016-2018), and Associate Director of Clinical Training (2021-2023). She taught primarily at the graduate level, maintained a lab of research mentees, and conducted research on the caregiver program within the department's training clinic, the UCCS Aging Center. She was also the Kraemer Family Professor of Aging Studies. 


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 taught 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 trained students at the UCCS Aging Center to provide caregiver interventions.


ABPP in Clinical Geropsychology

Professional Experience

Dr. Qualls is a clinical psychologist who has provided clinical in various settings including a private practice for 23+ years, in integrated care settings such as senior housing, and at the UCCS Aging Center.  She also 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.

O’Malley KA, Qualls SH & Jacobs ML. (2022). Models and Interventions for Caregiving in Later Life.  G. Amunson (Ed). Comprehensive Clinical Psychology, 2nd Edition. Elsevier.

Qualls, S.H. (2021). Family caregiving.  In K. Ferraro & D. Carr (Eds.), Handbook of Aging and Social Sciences (9th ed.) (pp. 221-238). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

O’Malley, K. A., & Qualls, S. H. (2022). Validation of a comprehensive measure of the family caregiver experience: the Caregiver Reaction Scale. Clinical Gerontologist, 45(3), 503-513.  Doi:  10.1080/07317115.2020.1774455.

Arora, K., Qualls, S.H., Bobitt, J., Milavetz, G., & Kaskie, B. (2020). Older cannabis users are not all alike:  lifespan cannabis use patterns.  Journal of Applied Gerontology.

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 Endowed 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 (2021-2023)


Psychologist, State of Colorado

Curriculum Vitae