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Research / Discovery

Awareness of age-related change the topic of cross-cultural workshop

May 21, 2012

A team from Human Development and Family Studies and abroad participated in a workshop in mid-May for researchers investigating awareness of age-related change.Manfred Diehl, professor in Human Development and Family Studies, sponsored a workshop on May 17-18 for researchers investigating the topic of awareness of age-related change. Diehl’s collaborator, Professor Hans-Werner Wahl, traveled to CSU from the University of Heidelberg to help lead the workshop.

“Awareness of age-related change is an important topic because we know from a large body of research that how old a person feels is a very strong and reliable predictor of a whole host of outcomes, including how well a person ages and how long a person lives,” Diehl said.

International scholars on board

In the workshop, Diehl and Wahl brought together scholars from the United States, Canada, and Germany who have all addressed this issue from various angles. Several of the participants have researched how age stereotypes shape adults’ perceptions of their own aging, and several have focused on cross-cultural comparisons of subjective aging experiences.

Researchers usually use questionnaire-based research methods to assess the attitudes of a large variety of subjects across several age groups and cultures to draw conclusions about peoples’ attitudes toward aging and its effect on mental and physical health.

The researchers came together to compare and discuss various methods for collecting data from adults on awareness of age-related change.

“Bringing together experts in the field of the assessment of awareness of age-related change will allow us to examine various approaches and to generate ideas for the future. Understanding how attitudes and self-perceptions affect human health as we age is an important societal issue because of our large aging population,” Diehl said.

Funding and support

The workshop is funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation as part of a TRANSCOOP grant to the University of Heidelberg and CSU. CSU’s Office of International Programs, the College of Applied Human Sciences, and the Department of Human Development and Family Studies also supported the workshop.

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies is in the College of Applied Human Sciences.

Contact: Gretchen Gerding
Phone: (970) 491.5182