Short CV – Hans-Werner Wahl, Professor (August 2015)

Hans-Werner Wahlis Professor of Psychological Aging Research at the Institute of Psychology, Heidelberg University, Germany. He received his Ph.D. in psychology from the Free University of Berlin in 1989. His research activities include the understanding of the role of physical-technological environments for aging well, adaptational processes in the context of age-related chronic functional loss, processes of awareness of aging in a lifespan perspective, and intervention research. He is the author or editor of more than 25 books and more than 200 scholarly journal articles and chapters related to the study of adult development and aging. He is co-editor-in-chief of the European Journal of Ageing and a member of the editorial board of The Gerontologist. Dr. Wahl is also a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) and has received the 2008 Social Gerontology Award (together with Manfred Diehl) and the 2009 M. Powell Lawton Award of the GSA. He has also been a fellow of the Marsilius-Kolleg of Heidelberg University.

A.  Positions and Honors

Positions and Employment

1982-1984  Research Associate, University of Heidelberg, Special Research Center 116, Heidelberg/Mannheim, Germany (Focus: Geropsychiatric epidemiology)

1984-1988 Research Associate, Free University of Berlin, Research Unit for Psychological Gerontology (Director: Prof. Dr. Margret M. Baltes), Berlin, Germany

1988 Visiting Scientist at the Philadelphia Geriatric Center (Director: Dr. Powell M. Lawton) and at the Andrus Gerontology Center (Director: Dr. James E. Birren)

1989-1991  Scientific Project Coordinator of the Berlin Aging Study, Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Education, Berlin, Germany

1992-1995  Preparation of “Habilitation” funded through a Fellowship of the German Research Council, Institute of Gerontology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany

1996-1997  Senior Researcher at the German Center for Research on Aging at the University of Heidelberg (DZFA), Heidelberg, Germany.

1997-2005 Professor, Chair of the Department of Social and Environmental Gerontology at the DZFA, Heidelberg, Germany.

2006-present Professor, Chair of the Department of Psychological Aging Research, Institute of Psychology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany


1989 Outstanding Poster Award, 15th Annual Convention of the Association for Behavior Analysis, 1989 (together with Margret M. Baltes)

1991 Poster Award, German Geriatric Society

1996 Max-Bürger-Award for outstanding research in gerontology of the German Society for Gerontology and Geriatrics

2002 Fellow, Gerontological Society of America

2001 Invited and funded visiting professor at the Psychology Department of the University of Lyon, France, Spring Semester

2002 Award of the Wilhelm Woort Foundation for Aging Research (together with Frank Holz and Annette Kämmerer)

2004-present Co-Editor-in-chief, European Journal of Ageing

2008 Social Gerontology Award, Gerontological Society of America

2009 Annual Award of the University of Heidelberg for Outstanding Research

2009 M. Powell Lawton Award, Gerontological Society of America

2013/14 Fellow of Marsilius-Kolleg of Heidelberg University (Internal center for advanced studies)

2015-present Acting Director of Institute of Psychology, Heidelberg University

B.  Selection of Peer-Reviewed Publications (selection since 2010)

1.  Diehl, M., & Wahl, H.-W. (2010). Awareness of age-related change: Examination of a (mostly) unexplored concept. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 65B, 340-350.

2.  Wahl, H.-W., Schmitt, M., Danner, D. & Coppin, A. (2010). Is the emergence of functional ability decline in early old age related with change in speed of cognitive processing, but also with change in personality? Journal of Aging and Health, 22, 691-712.

3.  Oswald, F., Jopp, D., Rott, C. & Wahl, H.-W. (2011). Is aging in place a resource for or a risk to life satisfaction? The Gerontologist, 51(2 ), 238-250. Doi: 10193/geront/gnq096

4.  Schilling, O.K., Wahl, H.-W., Horowitz, A., Reinhardt, J. P., & Boerner, K. (2011). The adaptation dynamics of chronic functional impairment: What we can learn from older adults with vision loss. Psychology and Aging, 26, 203-213.

5.  Heyl, V. & Wahl, H.-W. (2012). Managing daily life with age-related sensory loss: Cognitive resources gain in importance. Psychology and Aging, 27, 510-521. doi: 10.1037/a0025471

6.  Wahl, H.-W., Iwarsson, S., & Oswald, F. (2012). Aging well and the environment: Toward an integrative model and research agenda for the future. The Gerontologist, 52, 306-316. doi:10.1093/geront/gnr154.

7.  Kessler, E.-M., Bowen, C., Bär, M., Frölich, L. & Wahl, H.-W. (2012). Dementia worries: Examination of an unexplored phenomenon. European Journal of Ageing, 9(4), 275-284. doi: 10.1007/s10433-012-0242-8.

8.  Schilling, O., Wahl, H.-W. & Wiegering, S. (2012). Affective development in advanced old age: Analysis of terminal change in positive and negative affect. Developmental Psychology. Online-published. Doi: 10.1037/a0028775

9.  Wahl, H.-W., Wettstein, M., Shoval, N., Oswald, F., Kaspar, R., Issacson, M., et al. (2012). Interplay of cognitive and motivational resources for out-of-home behavior in a sample of cognitively heterogeneous older adults: Findings of the SenTra project. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences. Online-published. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbs106.

10.  Schilling, O. K., Wahl, H.-W., & Reidick, O. (2013). Trajectories of depressive symptoms in advanced old age: A functional approach concerning the role of physical functioning. Gero-Psych, 26(1), 29-38. doi:10.1024/1662-9647/a000079.

11.  Wahl, H.-W., Heyl, V., Drapaniotis, P. M., Hörmann, K., Jonas, J. B., Plinkert, P. K., & Rohrschneider, K.. (2013). Severe vision and hearing impairment and successful aging: A multidimensional view. The Gerontologist, 53(6), 950-962. doi:10.1093/geront/gnt013.

12.  Wahl, H.-W., Heyl, V. & Schilling, O. (2013). Robustness of personality and affect relations: The case of age-related sensory impairment. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 67(6), 687-696. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbs002.

13.  Schilling, O.K., Wahl, H.-W., & Wiegering, S. (2013). Affective development in advanced old age: Analyses of terminal change in positive and negative affect. Developmental Psychology, 49, 1011-1020. doi: 10.1037/a0028775

14.  Spuling, S. M., Miche, M., Wurm, S., & Wahl, H.-W. (2013). Exploring the causal interplay of subjective age and health dimensions in the second half of life. Zeitschrift für Gesundheitspsychologie, 21(1), 5-15. doi:10.1026/0943-8149/a000084.

15.  Schilling, O. K., Wahl, H.-W., Boerner, K., Reinhardt, J. P., Brennan-Ing, M., & Horowitz, A. (2013). Change in psychological control in visually Impaired older adults over 2 years: Role of functional ability and depressed mood. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 68(5), 750-761. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbs118.

16.  Schilling, O., Wahl, H.-W., & Oswald, F. (2013). Change in life satisfaction under chronic physical multi-morbidity in advanced old age: Potential and limits of adaptation. Journal of Happiness Studies, 14(1), 19-36. doi:10.1007/s10902-011-9313-3.

17.  Vogel, N., Schilling, K., Wahl, H.-W., Beekman, A. T. F. & Penninx, B. W. J. Z. H. (2013). Time-to-death-related change in positive and negative affect among older adults approachung the end of life. Psychology and Aging, 28, 128-141. Doi: 10.1037/a0030471

18.  Diehl, M., Wahl, H.-W., Barrett, A. E., Brothers, A. F., Miche, M., Montepare, J. M., Westerhof, G. J., & Wurm, S. (2014). Awareness of aging: Theoretical considerations on an emerging concept. Developmental Review, 34(2), 93-113. doi:

19.  Westerhof, G., Miche, M., Bothers, A., Barrett, A., Diehl, M., Montepare, J., Wahl, H.-W. & Wurm, S., (2014). The influence of subjective aging on health and longevity: A meta-analysis of longitudinal data. Psychology and Aging, 29(4), 793-802. doi: 10.1037/a0038016

20.  Miche, M., Wahl, H.-W., Diehl, M., Oswald, F., Kaspar, R. & Kolb, M. (2014). Natural occurence of subjective aging experiences in community-dwelling older adults. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 69B(2), 174-187. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbs164

21.  Miche, M., Elsässer, V. C., Schilling, O. K. & Wahl, H.-W. (2014). Attitude toward own aging in midlife and early old age over a 12-year period: Examination of measurement equivalence and developmental trajectories. Psychology and Aging, 29, 588-600.

22.  Neubauer, A. B., Drapaniotis, P., & Wahl, H.-W. (2014). More than theory - Type and content of theoretical entities used in gero-psychology 1990-1994 and 2000-2004. Gero-Psych, 27(2), 87-98. doi: 10.1024/1662-9647/a000106

23.  Wahl, H.-W., Drapaniotis, P. M., & Heyl, V. (2014). Functional ability loss in sensory impaired and sensory unimpaired very old adults: analyzing causal relations with positive affect across four years. Experimental Gerontology, 59, 74-80. doi:

24.  Wettstein, M., Wahl, H.-W., Shoval, N., Oswald, F., Voss, E., Seidl, U., Frölich, L., Auslander, G., Heinik, J., & Landau, R. (2015). Out-of-home behavior and cognitive impairment in older adults: Findings of the SenTra project. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 34(1), 3-25. doi: 10.1177/0733464812459373

25.  Schulz, R., Wahl, H.-W., Matthews, J. T., de Vito Dabbs, A., Beach, S. R. & Czaja, S. J. (2014). Advancing the aging and technology agenda in gerontology. The Gerontologist, online published. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnu07.

26.  Diehl, M. & Wahl, H.-W. (Eds.).(in press). Research on subjective aging: New developments and future directions. Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics 2015, Volume 35. New York: Springer Publ.

C.  Most important extramurally funded research projects within the past 5 years (active grants in italics):

Short title / Funding institution / Start/End / Applicants / Total funding [€]
Projekt „Kommunikation mit intelligenter Technik im Alter“ [Communication with intelligent technolgy in old age] / Federal Ministry of Research and Education / 11/2015-10/2020 / M. Doh & H.-W. Wahl / approx. 350.000 for our subproject (total project: 2,000,000)
Project “Long-term Care in Motion” / Part of “Social Innovations Promoting Active and Healthy Ageing“ (INNOVAGE) / European Commission / 11/12-11/15 / H.-W. Wahl & K. Hauer / 408,000 for our subproject (total project: approx. 2.500,000)
Förderliche und hinderliche Faktoren für den Umgang mit neuen Informations-
und Kommunikations-technologien im höheren Alter“ [Enhancing and constraining factors für use of ICT in old age] / Federal Ministry of Research and Education / 06/14-09/15 / M. Doh, L. Schmidt & H.-W. Wahl / 250,000
„Risiko- und protektive Faktoren für kognitive Beeinträchtigung und Demenzen im hohen Alter. 4. Messzeitpunkt des Projekts „Interdisziplinäre Längsschnittstudie des Erwachsenenalters“ (ILSE) [Risk and protective factors for cognitive impairment and dementia in old age. 4th measurement point of the “Interdisciplinary Longitudinal Study of Adulthood” (ILSE)] / Dietmar Hopp Stiftung /
Dietmar Hopp Foundation / 10/13-11/16 / C. Sattler, J. Schröder & H.-W. Wahl / 398,000
Terminal change and adaptation of subjective well-being in very old age / Netzwerk Alternsforschung /
Network Aging Research / 12/13-01/16 / O. Schilling & H.-W. Wahl / 120,000
Start-up Grant for the Initiation of a Graduate Program at the German Research Foundation / Ministry for Research and Art /
State of Baden-Württemberg / 01/14-12/15 / H.-W. Wahl / 30.000
Potenziale jungen und alten Alters. Eine interdisziplinäre Erkundung sozialer Möglichkeitsräume unterschiedlicher Altersgruppen [Potential of young and old age. An interdisciplinary exploration of opportunity structures among different age groups] / Exzellenzmittel Universität Heidelberg
(Frontier-Projekt) /
Excellence Funding of Heidelberg University (Frontier Program) / 03/14-03/15 / J. Eurich, H.-W. Wahl & F. Nüssel / 61,000
Measuring Adults’ Awareness of Age-Related Change (AARC) / National Institute on Aging, USA / 01/13-12/14 / M. K. Diehl, A. Brothers, H.-W. Wahl / approx. 80,000
Terminal change and adaptation of subjective well-being in very old age: Extension of measurement occasions / DFG / German Research Foundation / 10/10-09/12 / O. Schilling, H.-W. Wahl & F. Oswald / approx. 135,000
Awareness of Age-Related Change: A Cross-Cultural Collaboration / Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung (Transcoop Förderprogramm) /
Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Transcoop Funding Scheme) / 07/10-06/13 / M. Diehl & H.-W. Wahl / 55,000
FUTURAGE: A Definite Roadmap for Ageing Research in Europe. Environments of Ageing / European Commission / 09/09-12/11 / Wahl, H.-W / 97,873
Interdisziplinäres Promotionskolleg „Kognitive Einschränkung im Alter und die räumliche Alltagsumwelt [Interdisciplinary graduate program „Cognitive limitations in old age and every day spatial environment] / Landesgraduiertenprogramm Baden-Württemberg / Graduate Funding Program of State of Baden-Württemberg / 08/08-12/11 / H.-W. Wahl / 170,000
The Use of Advanced Tracking Technologies for the Analysis of Mobility in Alzheimer's Disease and Related Cognitive Disorders / BMBF / DFG / Ministry of Education and Research and German Research Foundation / 01/07-12/11 / H.-W. Wahl / 500,000
Psychotherapie der Depression im Seniorenheim (PISI) [Psychotherapy of depression in retirement homes (PISI)] / Robert Bosch Stiftung /
Robert Bosch Foundation / 06/11-05/14 / E.-M. Kessler, A. Kruse & H.-W. Wahl / 108,000
Entwicklung eines Instruments zur praxisnahen Messung von Lebensqualität
[Development of an instrument aimed at the practical measurement of quality of life] / Paul Wilhelm von Keppler-Stiftung /
Paul Wilhelm von Keppler Foundation / 01/08-12/11 / H.-W. Wahl & F. Oswald / 100,000
Bewertung neuer Technologien durch Bewohner und Personal im institutionellen Kontext und Prüfung der Übertragbarkeit ins häusliche Wohnen (BETAGT) [Evaluation of new technologies for residents and staff within the institutional context and examination of transferability into private housing (BETAGT)] / Robert Bosch Stiftung /
Robert Bosch Foundation / 02/08-03/10 / Wahl, H.-W. & Oswald, F / 188,000