Faculty and Staff Directory
Holly Nelson-Becker, PhD
Specialty Area: Aging, Loss/grief/palliative and end of life care, Wisdom and virtue research
Office #: Lewis Towers - 1239
CV Link: Nelson Becker CV updated 2014
External Webpage: http://works.bepress.com/holly_nelson-becker/
Dr. Nelson-Becker is a Professor in the School of Social Work at Loyola University Chicago. She earned her PhD at the University of Chicago and the MSW at Arizona State University. She is a recognized expert in social gerontology and a Hartford Faculty Scholar in Geriatric Social Work who has investigated the pathways to resilience and well-being in older adults. Her research areas focus on spirituality and aging with an emphasis on end-of-life concerns and diverse cultural expressions.
She co-authored national standards for spiritual care in palliative care and is past Chair of the Interest Group on Religion, Spirituality, and Aging for the Gerontological Society of America. She served on the National Program Committee for the Hartford Doctoral Fellows Program in Geriatric Social Work and continues to mentor PhD students across the country in various aspects of gerontology and/or spirituality and clinical practice. She was awarded Fellowship in the Gerontological Society of America in 2013. The strengths perspective and positive psychological principles form the foundation for her research and teaching. She is currently working on a book in spirituality, religion, and aging.
University of Chicago, PhD
Arizona State University, MSW
Graceland University, BA- Modern Foreign Languages
Graceland University, BA- International Studies
Gerontology: living the best life possible, and loss/grief/end of life concerns
Current project: Interdisciplinary Palliative Care Training-Coleman Foundation
Professional & Community Affiliations
AGE-SW, Gerontological Society of America (GSA)
American Society on Aging (ASA)
National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
Chicago End-of-Life Coalition
International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG)
British Society of Gerontology (BSG)
Society for Spirituality and Social Work (SSSW)
Editorial Board member: Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health
Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative Care
Journal of Religion, Spirituality, & Aging
Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work
- Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families (Foundation year practice) (SOWK 503)
- Loss, Grief, & Dying Well: Coping with Life Transitions (SOWK 735)
- Social Work & Aging (SOWK 632)
- Religion, Spirituality, and Older Adults: Theory and Methods for Social Work (SOWK740)
- Fellow, Gerontological Society 2013
- University of Kansas Statland Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship
- Outstanding Faculty Member – KU MSW Mutual Aid Society
- University of Kansas Chancellor Budig Award for Excellence in Teaching
Recent Selected Publications:
Ko, E. J., Kwak, J., & Nelson-Becker, H. (in press). What constitutes a good and bad death? Perspectives of homeless older adults. Death Studies.
Ko, E. J., Nelson-Becker, H., Shin, M., & Park, Y. J. (2014). Preferences and expectations for delivering bad news among Korean older adults. Journal of Social Service Research, 40(4), 402-414. DOI: 10.1080/01488376.2014.894356.
Nelson-Becker, H., Ai, L. A., Hopp, F., McCormick, T. R., Schlueter, J. O., & Camp, J. K. (2013). Spirituality and religion in end-of-life care: The challenge of interfaith and cross-generational matters in changing environments. British Journal of Social Work, 1-16. DOI: 10.1093/bjsw/bct110
Ko, E. J., Nelson-Becker, H. (2013). Does End-of-Life Decision Making Matter? Perspectives of Older Homeless Adults. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. 31(2), 183-188. DOI 10.1177/1049909113482176
Ko, E. J., Nelson-Becker, H., Park, Y. J., & Shin, M. (2012). End-of-life decision making in older Korean adults: Concerns, preferences, and expectations. Educational Gerontology, 39(2), 71-81. DOI:10.1080/03601277.2012.682947
McCormick, T., Hopp, F., Nelson-Becker, H., Ai, A., Schlueter, J., & Camp, J. (2012.). Ethical and spiritual concerns near the end of life. Journal of Religion, Spirituality, and Aging, 24(4), 301-313.
Pickard, J. & Nelson-Becker, H. (2011). Attachment and spiritual coping: Theory and practice with older adults, Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health, 13(2), 138-155. DOI: 10.1080/19349637.2011.565239
Fukui, S., Starnino, V. & Nelson-Becker, H. (2011). Spiritual well-being of people with psychiatric disabilities: The role of religious attendance, social network size and sense of control. Community Mental Health Journal. DOI 10.1007/s10597-011-9375-z
Nelson-Becker, H. (2011). Advancing an aging-prepared community: Models and lessons from training initiatives in gerontological social work. Journal of Religion, Spirituality, and Aging, 23(1), 92-113. DOI: 10.1080/15528030.2011.533361
Journal Editorship-Special Issue
Nelson-Becker, H. (Ed.). (2013). Special Issue. Spirituality and Social Work and End-of-Life and Palliative Care. Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative Care, 9(2-3), 111-240.
Nelson-Becker, H. (2013): Spirituality in End-of-Life and Palliative Care: What Matters? Journal of Social Work in End-Of-Life & Palliative Care, 9(2-3), 112-116. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15524256.2013.794000
Recent Selected Peer-Reviewed Chapters
Nelson-Becker, H., & Gilbert, M. C. (in press). Spirituality and older women: The journey home to self. In Spira, M., & Kilbane, T. (Eds.), Older women: Current and future challenges of professionals with an aging population. Bentham Press.
Nelson-Becker, H., Canda, E. R., & Nakashima, M (in press). Spirituality in professional helping interventions. In B. Berkman & D. Kaplan (Eds.), Handbook of social work in health and aging (pp.). Boston: Oxford Press.
Chapin, R., Nelson-Becker, H. Macmillan, K. & Sellon, A. (in press). Strengths-based and solution-focused approaches to practice with older adults. In B. Berkman & D. Kaplan (Eds.), Handbook of social work in health and aging (pp.). Boston: Oxford Press.
Nelson-Becker, H. (2013). Resilience in aging: Moving through challenge to wisdom. In D. S. Becvar (Ed.), Handbook of family resilience (pp. 339-357). New York: Springer. DOI10.1007/978-1-4614-3917-2_20
Nelson-Becker, H., Chapin, R., & Fast, B. (2013). The strengths model with older adults: Critical practice components. In D. Saleebey (Ed.), The strengths perspective in social work practice (6th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Spira, M., & Nelson-Becker, H. (2013). Nursing Homes. In J. L. Postmus (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Sexual Violence and Abuse. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.
Nelson-Becker, H., & Sullivan, M. (2012). Social Care. Oxford textbook of spirituality in healthcare (pp. 409-417). In M. Cobb, C. Puchalski, & B. Rumpold (Eds.). UK. Oxford University Press.
Nelson-Becker, H. (2011). Research in spirituality, religion, and aging: An emerging area. Generations Review. Available online at http://www.britishgerontology.org/DB/gr-editions-2/generations-review/research-in-spirituality-religion-and-aging-an-eme.html
Nelson-Becker, H., & Ferrell, B. (2011). Social work and nursing: Creating effective collaborations. In T. Altilio & S. Otis-Green (Eds.), Oxford textbook of palliative social work (pp. 477-481). New York: Oxford University Press.