Prof. Dr. Hans-Werner Wahl

Senior Professor

Institute of Psychology, Heidelberg University / Network Aging Research

Bergheimer Str. 20
D-69115 Heidelberg

Phone +49 (0)6221 - 54 81 10
Fax +49 (0)6221 - 54 81 12
E-Mail: Hans-Werner Wahl


  • 1981 Diploma in Psychology, Heidelberg University
  • 1989 Dissertation in Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin
  • 1995 Habilitation in Psychology, Heidelberg University
  • 1997-2005 Professor of Social and Environmental Gerontology at the DZFA, Heidelberg University
  • since 2006 Professor of Psychological Ageing Research, Institute of Psychology, Heidelberg University

Research Interests

  • Developmental psychology of chronic impairment in later life
  • Aging and the role of the physical-technological context
  • Awareness of age-related change in a lifespan development perspective
  • Applied gerontology and intervention


Research Projects


Selected Publications since 2012 (in chronological order)


  • Wahl, H.-W. (in press). Life-span developmental psychology and social-behavioral aging science: Need for better liaison with life course epidemiology in the future (commentary). Longitudinal and Life Course Studies.
  • 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.
  • Tauber, B., Wahl, H.-W. & Schröder, J. (2016). Personality and life satisfaction over 12 years: Mid and late life. Gero-Psych.
  • Schilling, O. K., Wahl, H.-W., Boerner, K., Horowitz, A., Reinhardt, J. P., Cimarolli, V. R., Brennan-Ing, M., & Heckhausen, J. (2016). Developmental regulation with progressive visual loss: Use of control strategies and affective well-being. Developmental Psychology. Online-published.
  • 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
  • Neubauer, A. B., Schilling, O. K. & Wahl, H.-W. (2015). What do we need at the end of life? Competence, but not autonomy predicts intra-individual fluctuations in subjective well-being in very old age. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences. Online published. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbv052
  • Schulz, R., Wahl, H.-W., Matthews, J. T., de Vito Dabbs, A., Beach, S. R. & Czaja, S. J. (2015). Advancing the aging and technology agenda in gerontology. The Gerontologist, 55, 724-734. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnu07
  • Wettstein, M., Schilling, O. K., Reidick, O. & Wahl, H.-W. (2015). Four-year stability, change, and multidirectionality of well-being in very-old age. Psychology and Aging, 30, 500-516., M., Wahl, H.-W. & Heyl, V. (2015). Cognition-well-being relations in old age. Moderated by sensory impairment. GeroPsych, 28, 123-136.
  • 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:
  • 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
  • Wahl, H.-W., Deeg, D. J. H. & Litwin, H. (2013). European ageing research in the social, behavioural and health areas: a multidimensional account. European Journal of Ageing, 10(4), 261-270. doi:10.1007/s10433-013-0301-9.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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(3), 306-316. doi:10.1093/geront/gnr154.

Vita (short)

Vita (ultra short)

Hans-Werner Wahl is Senior 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 20 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.

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Latest Revision: 2018-10-29
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