Dr. Daniel W. Durkin


Dr. Daniel Durkin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Work.

Durkin’s research has examined many issues concerned with aging – types of care, dementia, roles of family and professional staff, experiences and educational needs for caregivers, and the importance of creative and social activities for older people.

Among Durkin’s recent research efforts:

Changes in emotional wellbeing and self-perceived physical health over time among African American and White male caregivers of older adults; the use of home remedies by elderly African Americans; and potential Medicare savings to be realized by increasing hospice utilization in the Pensacola area.

His research has been published in numerous peer-reviewed publications. They include The Gerontologist, Journal of Applied Gerontology,

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Psychology and Aging, Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect, and Journal of Religion, Spirituality and Aging, among others.

Durkin, a licensed master social worker, earned his Ph.D. in Social Work, specializing in Gerontology, at the University of Alabama. He also received a master’s degree in Social Work and a B.A. in English from the University of Alabama.

He was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Center for Quality Aging at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and he is certified in Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy.

Durkin, who won a Distinguished Teaching Award from UWF’s Student Government Association in 2015, teaches a variety of Social Work courses. They have included Elderly Issues and Intervention Strategies, Psychopathology, and Evaluation of Social Work Practice.

Degrees & Institutions:

Durkin received a bachelor's degree in English, a master's degree in Social Work from the University of Alabama. From there he earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree specializing in Gerontology also from the University of Alabama. He went on to serve as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.


  • Family caregiving for older adults with dementia in the community
  • Male caregiving experience
  • Assisting families with the transition to nursing home care

Current Courses:

  • Interviewing and Recording
  • Evaluation of Social Work Practice

Classes Taught:

    • Analysis of Social Service Policy
    • Interviewing and Recording
    • Elderly Issues and Intervention Strategies
    • Evaluation of Social Work Practice
    • Research Foundations


    Research Papers (Peer-Reviewed)

    • Allen, R.S., Azuero, C.B., Csikai, E.L., Parmelee, P.A., Shin, H.J., Kvale, E., Durkin, D.W., and Burgio, L.D. (2016). “It was very rewarding for me because I had never really thought about the importance of the wisdom”: Senior volunteers’ experiences with implementing a reminiscence and creative activity intervention. The Gerontologist, 56(2), 357-367doi: 10.1093/geront/gnu167
    • Durkin, D.W., Shotwell, M., & Simmons, S.F. (2014). The impact of family visitation during meals on feeding assistance care quality in nursing homes. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 33(5), 586-602. doi: 10.1177/0733464814522126
    • Hilgeman, M.H., Allen, R.S., Snow, A.L., Durkin, D.W., DeCoster, J. & Burgio, L.D. (2014). Preserving identity and planning for advance care (PIPAC): Preliminary outcomes from a patient-centered intervention for individuals with mild dementia. Aging & Mental Health, 18(4), 411-424. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2013.868403
    • Simmons, S.F., Durkin, D.W., Rahman, A.N., Schnelle, J.F., & Beuscher, L. (2014). The value of resident choice during daily care: Do staff and families differ? Journal of Applied Gerontology, 33(6), 655-671. doi: 10.1177/0733464812454010
    • Schnelle, J.F., Rahman, A., Durkin, D.W., Beuscher, L., Choi, L., & Simmons, S.F. (2013). A controlled trial of an intervention to increase choice in long-term care. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 14(5), 345-351. doi:10.1016/j.jamda.2012.11.013
    • Simmons, S.F., Durkin, D.W., Rahman, A.N., Choi, L., Beuscher, L., Jani, V., & Schnelle, J.F. (2013). Resident characteristics related to the lack of morning care provision in long-term care. The Gerontologist, 53(1), 151-161. doi: 10.1093/geront/GNS065
    • Simmons, S.F., Durkin, D.W., Shotwell, M., Erwin, S., & Schnelle, J.F. (2013). A staff training and management intervention in VA long-term care: Impact on feeding assistance care quality. Translational Behavioral Medicine: Practice, Policy and Research, 3(2), 189-199. doi: 10.1007/s13142-013-0194-3
    • Simmons, S.F., Sims, N., Durkin, D.W., Shotwell, M., Erwin, S., & Schnelle, J.F. (2013). The quality of feeding assistance care practices for long-term care veterans:  Implications for quality improvement efforts. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 32(6), 669-686. doi: 10.1177/0733464811433487
    • Sun, F., Durkin, D.W., Harris, G., Hilgeman, M.M., Gaugler, J., Wardian, J., Allen, R.A., & Burgio, L.D. (2013). Predicting desire for institutional placement among racially diverse dementia family caregivers: The role of quality of care. The Gerontologist, 53(3), 418-429.doi:10.1093/geront/gns110
    • Durkin, D.W., Umayam, S.P., Sims, N., Cleeton, P., & Simmons, S.F. (2012). Whom do veteran nursing home residents prefer to talk to about their satisfaction with care? Implications for nursing staff. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 38(12), 38-45. doi:10.3928/00989134-20121109-01
    • Schnelle, J.F., Buchowski, M.S., Ikizler, T.A., Durkin, D.W., Beuscher, L., & Simmons, S.F. (2012). Evaluation of two fatigability severity measures in elderly subjects. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 60(8), 1527-1533. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2012.04062.x
    • Csikai, E. L., Whalen, M., Otto, J., & Durkin, D.W. (2011). Adult protective services workers’ experiences with serious illness and death. Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect, 23(2), 169-189.doi:10.1080/08946566.2011.558788 
    • Harris, G., Durkin, D.W., Allen, R.S., & Burgio, L.D. (2011). Exemplary caregiving as a mediator of the effects of subjective appraisal on caregiver emotional outcomes. The Gerontologist, 51(3), 332-342. doi:10.1093/geront/gnr003 
    • Simmons, S.F., Rahman, A., Beuscher, L., Durkin, D.W., & Schnelle, J.F. (2011). Resident-directed long-term care: Staff provision of choice during morning care. The Gerontologist, 51(6), 867-875. doi:10.1093/geront/gnr066
    • MacNeil, G., Kosberg, J.I., Durkin, D.W., Dooley, K., DeCoster, J., & Williamson, G.M. (2010). Anger as a mediating and moderating influence on mental health and potentially harmful behavior in caregivers. The Gerontologist, 50(1), 76-86. doi:10.1093/geront/gnp099
    • Csikai, E. L., & Durkin, D.W. (2009). Perceived educational needs and preparation of adult protective service workers for practice with end-of-life issues. Gerontology & Geriatrics Education, 30(2), 146-163. doi:10.1080/02701960902911232
    • Hilgeman, M.M., Durkin, D.W., Sun, F., DeCoster, J., Allen, R.S., Gallagher-Thomson, D., & Burgio, L.D. (2009). Testing a theoretical model of the stress process in Alzheimer's caregivers with race as a moderator. The Gerontologist, 49(2), 248-261. doi:10.1093/geront/gnp015
    • Sun, F., Hilgeman, M.M., Durkin, D.W., Allen, R.A., & Burgio, L.D. (2009). Perceived adequacy of income for basic needs as a predictor of psychological distress in Alzheimer’s caregivers. Psychology and Aging, 24(1), 177-183. doi:10.1037/a0014760
    • Roff, L.L., Durkin, D.W., Sun, F., & Klemmack, D.L. (2007). Widowhood, religiousness, and self-assessed well-being among older adults. Journal of Religion, Spirituality and Aging, 19(4), 43-59. doi:10.1300/J496v19n04_04

    Web-based Peer-Reviewed Publications

    • Blake, B., Ray-Connell, T., Durkin, D.W., & Wedgeworth, M. (2015). Healthy aging with HIV after age 50, The Deep South CME Network, UAB Division of CME, Geriatric-Focused CME Courses. http://www.alabamacme.uab.edu/geriatrics.aspx.

    Research Papers (Peer-Reviewed) – In Press

    • Pollio, D.E., Durkin, D.W., & North, C.S. An exploration of content in multifamily psychoeducation groups: The impact of consumer choice in a flexible curriculum. Families in Society.
    • Herzog, J., Fleming, T., Ferdik, F., Durkin, D.W.  Secondary trauma among New Zealand youth. Traumatology.

Keywords: caregiver resentment, dementia, home remedies used by elderly African-Americans, caregiver complaints, hospice Medicare savings, gerontology, social worker experiences, rational emotive behavior therapy