Faculty and Staff

Dr. Deborah Altus

Deborah Altus

Dr. Deborah Altus is a professor. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology (with a focus in behavior analysis) and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Gerontology. She worked as a Gerontological researcher for nearly 10 years, serving as an assistant research professor at the University of Kansas and as an associate professor at Kansas State University before joining the Washburn faculty in 2000. Her main interests are in aging and mental health (dementia care) and group living arrangements (e.g., co-ops, CoHousing, intergenerational home-sharing, communal living). She has also studied postpartum depression and served as the Kansas Coordinator for Postpartum Support International. Dr. Altus is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, former President of the national Communal Studies Association, board member of the International Communal Studies Association, and former treasurer of the Behavioral Gerontology interest group of the Association for Behavior Analysis. She has also served on a number of state-wide organizations including the Kansas Arthritis Steering Committee, the Kansas Elder Count committee, the Kansas Mental Health and Aging committee, as co-chair of the public engagement task force for the Kansas Living Initiatives for End-of-Life Care Project, as an advisory board member for the Center on Aging at Kansas State University and community advisory board member for the Center on Aging at KU Medical Center. She is an editorial board member for the journal Communal Societies, and for Communities, Journal of Cooperative Living, and has served as a reviewer for a variety of scholarly journals, presses and granting agencies. She has authored numerous journal articles and chapters in the areas of Gerontology, Behavior Analysis, and Communal Living, and is widely known as an authority on intentional communities inspired by B. F. Skinner's novel, Walden Two. Please feel free to contact her by e-mail at deborah.altus@washburn.edu or by phone at (785) 670-1951.