University of Heidelberg

Back to all partner profiles

 

Full name

Institute of Psychology, University of Heidelberg, Germany

Key contacts

Professor Hans-Werner Wahl

About

Hans-Werner Wahl, a psychologist by training, is head of the Department of Psychological Ageing Research.  He served since 1997 as Professor and Chair of the Department of Social and Environmental Gerontology of the German Centre for Research on Ageing and he is since 2006 Professor of Psychological Ageing Research. He has published intensively on theoretical and empirical issues related to environmental gerontology. He is one to the two editors-in-chief of the European Journal of Ageing, the only European member of the editorial board of The Gerontologist and a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America.

The Department of Psychological Ageing Research has received substantial national and international funding for its strong focus on the empirical examination of person-environment relations in later life. Among the internationally funded projects were involvements in two huge research consortia supported by the European commission, one focused on domestic environments (project "Enhancing Autonomy and Health-related Abilities in Old Age: The Role of the Home Environment"; ENABLE-AGE; 2002-2004)”, the other dealing with out-of home settings (project “Enhancing Outdoor Mobility in Later Life: Personal Coping, Environmental Resources, and Technical Support”; MOBILATE; 2000-2002).

The ENABLE-AGE project also became instrumental in developing a strong bridge of research cooperation between Lund University (Prof. Susanne Iwarsson) and the Heidelberg group, which will bring new synergies to FUTURAGE.   In addition, the department has ongoing research on issues such as:

  • outdoor mobility and dementia-related disorders (project “The use of advanced tracking technologies for the analysis of mobility in Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.”; funded by the German-Israeli Project Coordination, 2007-2011)
  • the quality of life of visually impaired elders (project “Vision and Hearing Loss in Old Age in a Developmental Perspective: Relevance of Socio-Physical and Psychic Resources”;  funded by the German Research Foundation, 2006-2008)
  • an interdisciplinary study focusing on health and well being of two cohorts (1930-32; 1950-52) now offering a 14-year observation interval (project “Interdisciplinary Longitudinal Study of Adult Life”; funded by Federal Ministry of Family, Senior Citizens, Youth, and Women, 2005-2007).

 

Translating research findings into practical needs and community policy is also our ambition (project “Development of an Instrument to Further Evidence-based Policy for Senior Citizens”; funded by the Bertelsmann Foundation, 2006-2007).

Recent publications

  • Wahl, H.-W., & Gitlin, L. N. (2007). Environmental gerontology. In J. E. Birren (Ed.), Encyclopedia of gerontology. Age, aging, and the aged (2nd ed., pp. 494-501). Oxford: Elsevier.
  • Wahl, H.-W., & Iwarsson, S. (2007). Person-environment relations in old age. In R. Fernandez-Ballesteros (Ed.), Geropsychology. European perspectives for an ageing world (pp. 49-66). Göttingen: Hogrefe.
  • Wahl, H.-W., Schilling, O., & Becker, S. (2007). Age-related macular degeneration and change in psychological control: Role of time since diagnosis and functional ability. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 62B(2), P90-P97.
  • Oswald, F., Wahl, H.-W., Schilling, O., Nygren, C., Fänge, A., Sixsmith, A., Sixsmith, J., Széman, Z., Tomsone, S., & Iwarsson, S. (2007). Relationships between housing and healthy aging in very old age. The Gerontologist, 47, 96-1007.

 

Funded research

2007-2011     Co-Principal Investigator (together with F. Oswald, Dr. Noam Shoval). “The use of advanced tracking technologies for the analysis of mobility in Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.” Grant of the German-Israeli Project Coordination (total project costs: about $ 1.700.000; German side: about $ 600.000)

2005-2006     Co-Principal Investigator (together with F. Oswald). “Development of a Quality of Life Measurement Device for Institutional Settings”, Grant of the Paul Wilhelm von Keppler-Fondation ($ 81.000).

2005-2007     Principal Investigator. “Vision and Hearing Loss in Old Age in a Developmental Perspective: Relevance of Socio-Physical and Psychic Resources”, Grant of  the German Research Council, WA 809/7-1 ($ 90.000).

2005-2007     Co-Principal Investigator (together with A. Kruse). “Interdisciplinary Longitudinal Study of Adult Life”, Grant of the Federal Ministry of Family, Senior Citizens, Youth, and Women ($ 358.000).

2002-2004          Co-Principal Investigator (together with F. Oswald & H. Mollenkopf, as well as 4 partners from other EU countries), "Enhancing Autonomy and Health-related Abilities in Old Age: The Role of the Home Environment" (ENABLE-AGE)”, Grant of the European Commission, 5th Framework (total project cost about $ 2.000.000; about $ 500.000 for the DZFA).

2000-2002          Co-Principal Investigator (together with H. Mollenkopf & F. Oswald, as well as 4 partners from other EU countries), “Enhancing Outdoor Mobility in Later Life: Personal Coping, Environmental Resources, and Technical Support”, Grant of the European Commission, 5th Framework, QLRT-1999-02236 (total project cost about $ 1.000.000 in total; about $ 376.000 for the DZFA).

http://www.psychologie.uni-heidelberg.de