Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Behavior Analysis and Therapy


Dr Jonathan C. Baker


Those diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer's disease present with varying degrees of behavioral symptomatology as the state of cognitive impairment progresses. The most marked of these symptoms are agitation and confusion, which can occur at any time of the day. When some individuals display these symptoms late in the afternoon they are said to be "sundowning." Sundowning is a term that has been applied to the phenomena of various behaviors occurring during this time of day but it has never been considered an official diagnosis nor has it ever been formally defined. This paper examines the concept of sundowning and its function in the field of Behavior Analysis and, furthermore, its advancement of the science of elder care.