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Debra McGinnis, Ph.D.


Associate Professor
Office: 119 Pryale Hall
Phone: 248-370-2310
E-mail: [email protected]

Ph.D. Psychology & Aging, University of Southern California
B.A.,  Human Development, California State University Long Beach

Major Fields
Cognitive Aging
Resilience in Adulthood

Research Interests
Cognitive Aging
Resilient Aging

Current Research Programs
Resilience in Middle-aged adults
Resilience in Older Adults
Ageism in Undergraduates

Recent Publications

McGinnis, D. (2018). Resilience, life events, and well-being during midlife: Examining resilience subgroups.  Journal of Adult Development, 1-24. [Open Access: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10804-018-9288-y]

McGinnis, D. (2016). Epistemological orientations and evidence evaluation in undergraduates.  Thinking Skills and Creativity, 19, 279-289. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc2016.01.002

McGinnis, D. (2012). Susceptibility to Distraction During Reading in Young, Young-old, and Old-old Adults.  Experimental Aging Research, 38, 370-393.

McGinnis, D. (2009). Text comprehension products and processes in young, young-old, and old-old adults. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 64, 202-211

McGinnis, D., Goss, J. R., Tessmer, C., & Zelinski, E. M. (2008), Inference Generation in Young, Young-old, and Old-old adults: Evidence for Semantic Architecture Stability. Applied Cognitive Psychology , 22, 171-192.

McGinnis, D., Saunders, N. & Burns, R.J. (2007). Metacomprehension During Rare Word Comprehension.  Reading Psychology, 28, 221-240.

McGinnis, D. & Zelinski, E. M. (2003) Understanding unfamiliar words in young, young-old, and old-old adults: Inferential processing and abstraction deficits. Psychology and Aging, 18, 497-509.

McGinnis, D. & Zelinski, E. M. (2000). Understanding unfamiliar words: The influence of processing resources, vocabulary knowledge, and age.  Psychology and Aging , 15, 235-250.

Courses Taught

PSY 251: Statistics and Research Design: Students learn how statistics are used to test various types of research hypotheses in psychology. Concepts and the underlying logic of statistical computations are emphasized as much as the mathematical computations. The use of statistical software (SPSS) is also emphasized, and will foster skills that can be applied in educational, corporate, and academic settings.

PSY 323: Adulthood and Aging: This is a developmental psychology course that emphasizes adulthood and aging. Highlighted are age-related changes in mental health, cognition, personality, and emotions, particularly as they are impacted by changes in relationships, retirement, health, and loss. Sensitivity to issues and problems faced by older adults are emphasized throughout.

PSY 425: Advanced Developmental Seminar / Resilient Aging (W13).  Readings include empirical and theoretical papers on resiliency in late life - with an emphasis on various predictors (e.g., personality, life experience, adversity, relationships, etc.).  Students enrolled in this course will prepare presentations and lead discussions, as well as participate in discussions facilitated by other students.

Department of Psychology

Pryale Hall, Room 111
654 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2300
Fax: (248) 370-4612