Molly Maxfield, PhD

Molly Maxfield


Assistant Professor, Director of the Clinical M.A. & Geropsychology Clinical Ph.D. Programs
Ph.D.: University of Colorado Colorado Springs, 2009
Area: Clinical Psychology, with an emphasis in Geropsychology
Office: Columbine Hall 4041
Phone: (719) 255-3778

Dr. Molly Maxfield is an Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department. She received her graduate training at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (M.A. in 2005, Ph.D. in 2009). She completed a predoctoral internship at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, specializing in cognitive and behavioral assessment. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Skidmore College. At UCCS, she is the Director of the Clinical M.A. and Geropsychology Clinical Ph.D. Programs and teaches graduate courses in clinical interviewing and cognitive and personality assessment.

Dr. Maxfield’s research interests include social cognition and successful aging processes. More specifically, she is interested in how older adults’ cognitive functioning impacts their ability to engage in social decision-making processes and develop strategies for coping with the challenges of late life. Her research also includes the use of terror management theory to understand age-related differences in responses to increased awareness of mortality.

Research Areas:

Social cognition and aging, terror management and aging, dementia worry.

Representative Publications:

Maxfield, M., Greenberg, J., Pyszczynski, T., Weise, D., Kosloff, S., Soenke, M., Abeyta, A., & Blatter, J. (2014). Increases in generative concern among older adults following reminders of mortality. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 79, 1-21.

Bevan, A. L., Maxfield, M., & Bultmann, M. N. (2014). The effects of age and death awareness on intentions for health behaviours. Psychology and Health, 29, 409-421.

Maxfield, M., John, S., Pyszczynski, T. (2014). A terror management perspective on the role of death-anxiety in psychological dysfunction. The Humanistic Psychologist, 42, 35-53.

Maxfield, M., Pyszczynski, T., & Solomon, S. (2013). Finding meaning in death: Terror management among the terminally ill. In N. Straker (Ed.) Facing death: A psychoanalytic perspective from the treatment of cancer patients (pp. 41-60). Blue Ridge Summit, PA: Jason Aronson. 

Maxfield, M., Pyszczynski, T., Greenberg, J., Pepin, R., & Davis, H. P. (2012). The moderating role of executive functioning in older adults’ responses to a reminder of mortality. Psychology and Aging.

Abdollahi, A., Pyszczynski, T., Maxfield, M., & Luszczynska, A. (2011). Anxiety buffer disruption theory: The relationship between dissociation, anxiety-buffer functioning and severity of posttraumatic symptoms. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy.

Maxfield, M., Solomon, S., Pyszczynski, T., & Greenberg, J. (2010). Mortality salience effects on the life expectancy estimates of older adults as a function of neuroticism. Journal of Aging Research, 2010.

Maxfield, M., & Segal, D. L. (2008). Psychotherapy in non-traditional settings: A case of in-home cognitive-behavioral therapy with a depressed older adult. Clinical Case Studies, 7, 154-166.

Maxfield, M., Pyszczynski, T., Cox, C., Kluck, B., Greenberg, J., Solomon, S., & Weise, D. (2007). Age related differences in responses to thoughts of one’s own death:  Mortality salience and judgments of moral transgressions. Psychology and Aging, 22, 341-353.

Pyszczynski, T., Greenberg, J., Solomon, S., & Maxfield, M. (2006). On the unique psychological import of the human awareness of mortality: Theme and variations. Psychological Inquiry, 17, 328-356.

Cohen, F., Solomon, S., Maxfield, M., Pyszczynski, T., & Greenberg, J. (2004). Fatal attraction: The effects of mortality salience on evaluations of charismatic, task-oriented, and relationship-oriented leaders. Psychological Science, 15,846-851.