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Awards / Honors

Human Development and Family Studies Faculty Member Earns National Recognitions

July 18, 2012

Manfred Diehl, professor of human development and family studies in the College of Applied Human Sciences, recently gained national recognition for his work in the area of personality and social-emotional development across the adult lifespan, and for his commitment to mentoring students.

Manfred DiehlDiehl has been elected as member-at-large to the executive committee of the Behavioral and Social Sciences Section of the Gerontological Society of America. In this role, Diehl will assist in strategic planning and special initiatives for the section. Diehl will start his two-year term of service in November at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America in San Diego, Calif.

Diehl was also selected as the 2012 recipient of the American Psychological Association Division 20: Adult Development and Aging Mentor Award. The Mentor Award is annually given to a member of APA Division 20 who has consistently provided outstanding support, guidance and strong direction to undergraduate and graduate students and to junior colleagues in the field of adult development and aging. This award is given to the individual who has been most actively committed to mentoring and who best exemplifies the qualities identified with strong, effective mentoring. Diehl will be presented with the award during the annual APA convention which will take place August 2-5 in Orlando, Fla.

“I am passionate about introducing and mentoring students in the ‘art’ of doing good science, and I feel pleased when students develop the desire to become researchers themselves,” Diehl said.

Diehl has focused his research in two areas of human development with applications in real-life settings. First, he is interested in how adults develop coping behavior in a variety of contexts, including coping with daily stress. Diehl’s work focuses on issues of emotion experience and emotion regulation, as these person-specific processes play a crucial role in coping and adaptation. He envisions extending this work in in the future for practical applications to gain a better understanding of how daily stress “goes under people’s skin” and how, over time, it contributes to the development of stress-related disorders.

Diehl’s second area of research is in the domain of subjective aging and self-perceptions of aging.  In this area, he has developed the concept of awareness of age-related change and a theoretical framework that outlines the key questions that need to be addressed to move the field forward. Over the past several years, he has focused on the development of a sound measurement instrument for the assessment of AARC. He plans to examine how and to what extent AARC is associated with real-life behaviors, such as engagement in health-preventive behaviors (for example, physical exercise, participation in health screening programs, etc.), planning for retirement, or preparations for aging in place.

“I plan to examine whether middle-aged and older adults’ awareness of their own aging is amenable to intervention and, hence, represents a new avenue toward promoting successful aging,” Diehl said.

Diehl describes fruitful collaborations on the creation of the AARC framework and research with his current doctoral student, Allyson Brothers, and in collaboration with a German colleague, Hans-Werner Wahl, and his doctoral students.

“All of my work has and continues to greatly benefit from the contributions of students, both graduate and undergraduate, and the fruitful and stimulating collaborations with colleagues," Diehl said.

Contact: Dell Rae Moellenberg
Phone: (970) 491-6009