Awareness of Age-Related Change: A Cross-Cultural Collaboration (AARC-COLL)

Funded by a grant of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation under its Transcoop Funding Scheme awarded to
Manfred Diehl, Colorado State University & Hans-Werner Wahl, Heidelberg University

Project Description

The awareness of growing older is a fundamental subjective experience during the adult years. This awareness has been documented in similar ways across cultures and subjective age is a robust predictor of a number of important physical, psychological, and social outcomes. Diehl and Wahl (2010; Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences) define awareness of age-related change (AARC) as a person’s state of awareness that his or her behavior, level of performance, or way of experiencing life has changed as a consequence of having grown older. Several points are important to note here. First, in contrast to the concepts of subjective age or age identity, the emphasis of AARC is on being aware that something in one’s life has changed due to aging. Second, from an assessment perspective this emphasis requires, at a minimum, that a person can verbalize his or her age-related change experiences or can provide a subjective evaluation of his or her perceptions. Third, it is essential for the concept of AARC that individuals attribute the perceived change to having grown older, that is to chronological age and to the passing of time.

This project is an initiative that builds on several years of preparatory work of the two research partners, Prof. Dr. Manfred Diehl from the Colorado State University, USA (Link), and Prof. Dr. Hans-Werner Wahl from Heidelberg University, Germany. Based on the theoretical framework/model that Diehl and Wahl have already developed (Diehl & Wahl, 2010), the primary aim of this project is to develop a new measurement instrument that consolidates and extends previous measurement approaches, builds on our theoretical model, and focuses specifically on adults’ perceptions of age-related change. A secondary goal of the project is to contribute to the area of subjective aging, in general, e.g., by doing secondary data analysis based on constructs well established in the area such as the Attitudes Toward Own Aging concept. For this purpose, we also seek for intensive collaboration of scholars working in the area of subjective aging. The reference list below shows how far we have progressed with our intentions.

Also involved in the project are two highly engaged doctoral students:

Martina Miche, Heidelberg University
&
Allyson Brothers, Colorado State University

In addition, a number of BSc and MSc theses have been completed on the subject.

 

Reference List (2010-2017):

  • Gabrian, M., Dutt, A. J., & Wahl, H.-W. (2017). Subjective time perceptions and aging well: A review of concepts and empirical research - A mini review. Gerontology, 00, 1-9. doi: 10.1159/000470906
  • Dutt, A. J., Gabrian, M., & Wahl, H.-W. (2016). Developmental regulation and awareness of age-related change: A (mostly) unexplored connection. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 00, 1-10. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbw084
  • Dutt, A. J., Gabrian, M., & Wahl, H.-W. (2016). Awareness of age-related change and depressive symptoms in middle and late adulthood: Longitudinal associations and the role of self-regulation and calendar age. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 00, 1-10. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbw095
  • Brothers, A., Miche, M., Wahl, H.W., & Diehl, M. K. (in press). Future time perspective and awareness of age-related change: Examining their role in predicting psychological well-being. Psychology and Aging.
  • Siebert, J. S. Wahl, H.-W. & Schröder, J. (in press). The role of attitudes toward own aging for fluid and crystallized functioning: 12-year evidence from the ILSE Study. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences.
  • Brothers, A., Miche, M., Diehl, M., & Wahl, H.-W. (2015). Examination of associations among three distinct subjective aging constructs and their relevance for predicting developmental correlates. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences. Online published. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbv085
  • Diehl, M. & Wahl, H.-W. (Hrsg.).(2015). Research on subjective aging: New developments and future directions. Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics 2015 (Volume 35). New York: Springer Publ.
  • Diehl, M., Wahl, H.-W., Brothers, A. & Miche, M. (2015). Subjective aging and awareness of aging: Toward a new understanding of the aging self. In: Diehl, M., & Wahl, H.-W. (Eds.). Research on subjective aging: New developments and future directions. Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Volume 35, S.1-28). New York: Springer Publ.
  • Miche, M., Brothers, A., Diehl, M. &. Wahl, H.-W: (2015). The role of subjective aging within the changing ecologies of aging: Perspectives for research and practice. In: Diehl, M., & Wahl, H.-W. (Eds.). Research research on subjective aging: New developments and future directions. Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Volume 35, S. 211-246). New York: Springer Publ.
  • 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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dr.2014.01.001
  • Kessler, E.-M., Tempel, J. & Wahl, H.-W. (2014). Concerns about one’s aging: The role of work context and psychosocial distress. Gero-Psych, 27(2), 81-86. Doi: 10.1024/1662-9647/a000105
  • 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. doi: 10.1037/a0037259.
  • 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
  • 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
  • Wahl, H.-W., Konieczny, C. & Diehl, M. K. (2013). Zum Erleben von altersbezogenen Veränderungen im Erwachsenenalter: Eine explorative Studie auf der Grundlage des Konzepts „Awareness of Age-Related Change“ (AARC). Zeitschrift für Entwicklungspsychologie und Pädagogische Psychologie, 45, 66-76. doi:10.1026/0049-8637/a000081.
  • 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.
  • Diehl, M. & Wahl, H.-W. (2010). Awareness of age-related change: Examination of a (mostly) unexplored concept. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 65B, 340-350.
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Latest Revision: 2017-05-22
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