Joanne Altschuler

College of Health & Human Services
School of Social Work


Prior to joining the faculty at CSULA, Dr. Altschuler worked as a caseworker, group worker, couples and family therapist, community organizer, program coordinator, and supervisor in family service agencies and mental health settings, corrections, medical and university-sponsored programs, and institutional settings. She has worked with many populations, and has significant expertise with older adults and their families. Dr. Altschuler has conducted trainings for administrators, university faculty members, and social work graduate students in the field of aging, and has written questions and answers for a column entitled On Aging in the Washington Post. Dr. Altschuler has made numerous presentations in the community and run groups related to aging including HIV/AIDS and older adults, Widowhood, Alzheimer's Disease, Holocaust Survivor Issues, Emotional and Social Concerns of Aging, Sexuality and Aging, Adult Child/Aging Parent Relationships. 

Dr. A currently serves as Bachelor Program Director and ASSW Faculty Advisor, and is honored to have been selected by CSULA's Center for Student Involvement (CSI) for its Outstanding Student Organization Advisor Award (2007-2008; 2009-2010; 2010-2011).


Dr. Altschuler enjoys teaching Generalist and Advanced Practice Courses in both the BSW & MSW programs, including Introduction to the Field of Social Work, Interviewing & Communication Skills, Diversity Practice Over the Life Course, and Clinical Practice with Older Adults and Their Families. CSULA honored Dr. A with its Outstanding Professor Award (OPA) (2004-2005).


Past and current areas of research include paid & unpaid work among older adults, HIV/AIDS & older adults, sexuality & older women, adult child/aging parent relationships, body image and aging, and countertransference related to older adults. Dr. A received the Rose Dobrof Honorable Mention Award for her 2010 co-authored article Keeping Your Eye on the Process: Body Image, Older Women, and Countertransference. The Rose Dobrof Award is designed to recognize authors of articles published in the Journal of Gerontological Social Work that are methodologically rigorous, demonstrate strong innovation, and show a great impact on gerontological social work practice. The award was presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) in November, 2011.



Altschuler, J., Katz, A., & Tynan, M. Implications for HIV/AIDS Research and Education among Ethnic Minority Older Adults.Journal of HIV/AIDS & Social Services, 7 (3), 209-228


Altschuler, J. Beyond Money and Survival: Meaning of Paid Work Among Older Women. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development,58 (3), 223-239


Altschuler, J., Katz, A., & Tynan, M. Developing and Implementing An HIV/AIDS Educational Curriculum for Older Adults. The Gerontologist, 44 (1), 121-126



Altschuler, J. The Meaning of Housework and Other Unpaid Responsibilities Among Older Women. Journal of Women and Aging,16 (1/2), 143-159


Altschuler, J. & Katz, A. Clinical Supervisors' Countertransference Reactions Toward Older Adults: Addressing the Unconscious Guide. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 39 (4),75-87





PhD Social Work December, 1994

  • University of Southern California
    Los Angeles, California

Graduate Certificate Study of Women & Men In Society Program December, 1994

  • University of Southern California
    Los Angeles, California

MSW Social Work June, 1975

  • University of Southern California
    Los Angeles, California

AB French; Minors: Spanish & Psychology June, 1971

  • Indiana University 
    Bloomington, Indiana