443 Behavioral Sciences Building
1570 Campus Delivery
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1570
Complete List of Publications - Last Updated August 8, 2018
I am a life-span developmental psychologist who studies processes of adult development and aging, with a particular focus on how successful and healthy aging can be achieved. My research interests are in three areas: (1) How adults develop an awareness of their own aging and how this awareness is linked to developmental outcomes; (2) if changing adults’ negative views on aging can facilitate the adoption of behaviors that are known to promote successful aging; and (3) how personality and social-emotional processes contribute to positive adult development and successful aging.
My primary research focuses on the concept of Awareness of Age-Related Change (AARC), which describes adults’ perceptions and understanding of their own aging process (Diehl & Wahl, 2010). I conduct this work in collaboration with my colleague, Dr. Hans-Werner Wahl, from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. In 2008, our theoretical work on this topic was recognized with the Social Gerontology Award of the Gerontological Society of America for best theoretical paper in Social Gerontology (Diehl & Wahl, 2010). Furthermore, in 2010 we were able to secure a research grant for our cross-national collaboration through the TransCoop-Program of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Bonn, Germany. As part of the program we developed a reliable and valid self-report questionnaire to assess AARC and its developmental correlates(Brothers, Gabrian, Wahl, & Diehl, 2018).
The focus of my second research area has grown out of the work on Awareness of Age-Related Change (AARC) and addresses the question if changing middle-aged and older adults' negative views on aging can facilitate the adoption of behaviors that are known to promote successful aging. To examine this question systematically, my research staff and I have developed a psycho-educational training program called AgingPLUS with which we target adults' negative views on and negative attitudes about aging, including their negative age stereotypes. In a feasibility study, we have shown that taking part in AgingPLUS made participants' negative views on aging more positive, increased their personal control beliefs, and also resulted in a higher level of engagement in physical activity. Currently, we are conducting a randomized controlled trial (RCT) funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (Grant #: R01 AG051723), with the goal of establishing the efficacy of the AgingPLUS program.
My third research area focuses on how personality and social-emotional processes contribute to positive adult development and successful aging. In this area, I have done extensive work on how self-concept differentiation (SCD) is related to psychological well-being and to coping with daily stress. In particular, from 2002-2011, I was the Principal Investigator for a longitudinal daily diary study with two measurement bursts which was funded by the NIA/NIH. This study examined whether SCD operates as a vulnerability factor when adults of different ages are confronted with daily stressors, and whether the effect of SCD differs by age. Findings from this study have been published in several journals and book chapters and are discussed in the areas of stress and coping (Hay & Diehl, 2010), resilience in adulthood (Diehl & Hay, 2010; Diehl, Hay, & Chui, 2012), personality research (Diehl & Hay, 2013; Diehl & Hay, 2007), and lifespan developmental psychology (Diehl & Hay, 2011). In addition, I have done extensive work on the development of coping and defense strategies in adulthood (Diehl et al., 1996; Diehl et al., 2014).
B.S., 1980, Psychology, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms University Bonn, Germany
M.S., 1984, Psychology, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms University Bonn, Germany
Ph.D., 1991, Human Development and Family Studies, The Pennsylvania State University
Honors and Awards
2018 - Distinguished Mentorship in Gerontology Award, Behavioral and Social Sciences Section, Gerontological Society of America (GSA).
2017 - University Distinguished Professor, Colorado State University.
2015 - Humboldt Research Award, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Bonn, Germany.
2012 - Mentorship Award, Division 20: Adult Development and Aging, American Psychological Association (APA).
2011 - Scholarly Excellence Award, College of Applied Human Sciences, Colorado State University.
2008 - Social Gerontology Award for “New Theoretical Developments in Social Gerontology,” Gerontological Society of America.
2006 - Fellow, Division 20: Adult Development and Aging, American Psychological Association.
2001 - Margret M. Baltes Early Career Award in Behavioral and Social Gerontology, Gerontological Society of America.
2001 - Fellow, Behavioral and Social Sciences Section, Gerontological Society of America.
Current Research Projects
Testing Psychological Mechanisms to Promote Physical Activity in Adults, 1 R01 AG051723. Funding agency: National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging (NIH/NIA). Funding period: 09/30/17-05/31/22. Principal Investigator.
Evaluation of HPP Interventions to Improve Outcomes in the Human, Psychological, Social and Spiritual Domains of the POTFF Program(Co-Principal Investigatorss: Drs. Tracy Nelson and Lise Youngblade), Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. Funding period 05/01/16-09/29/18. Co-Investigator.
2017-present: University Distinguished Professor, Colorado State University.
2015-2018: President-Elect, Acting President, Past President, Division 20: Adult Development and Aging of the American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.
2015-2016: Visiting Professor, Department of Psychological Aging Research, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Germany.
2013-present: Faculty Affiliate, Colorado Clinical & Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI), University of Colorado Denver—Anschutz Medical Campus, University of Colorado Boulder, and Colorado State University.
2013-present: Adjunct Professor, Department of Community and Behavioral Health, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado Denver and Colorado State University.
2012: Visiting Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Studies and Center for Healthy Aging, The Pennsylvania State University.
2006-present: Professor of Human Development and Family Studies with Tenure (Graduate Faculty), Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Colorado State University.
2006-2011: Director, Center on Aging, College of Applied Human Sciences, Colorado State University.
2004-2006 : Associate Professor of Psychology with Tenure (Graduate Faculty), Department of Psychology, University of Florida.
2003-2004 : Assistant Professor of Psychology (Graduate Faculty), Department of Psychology, University of Florida.
2000-2003: Assistant Professor (Graduate Faculty), Institute on Aging, Department of Health Policy and Epidemiology, University of Florida.
1996-2000: Assistant Professor (Graduate Faculty), Department of Psychology, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.
1993-1996: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Psychology, Wayne State University.
1991-1993 : Research Associate, Ringel Institute of Gerontology, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY).
Diehl, M., Hooker, K., & Sliwinski, M. S. (Eds.). (2015). Handbook of Intraindividual Variability across the Life Span. New York, NY: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.
Diehl, M., & Wahl, H.-W. (Eds.). (2015). Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics: Vol. 35. Subjective Aging: New Developments and Future Directions. New York, NY: Springer Publishing.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles and Chapters:
Diehl, M.Griffin, E., & Brothers, A. F. (in press). Dynamic integration theory. In O. Braddick (Ed.),Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology.New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Dutt, A. J., Wahl, H.-W., & Diehl, M. (in press). ). Awareness of aging processes and the aging self. In O. Braddick (Ed.), Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Brothers, A. F., Gabrian, M., Wahl, H.-W., & Diehl, M. (2018). A new multi-dimensional questionnaire to assess Awareness of Age-Related Change (AARC). The Gerontologist. .Advance online publication, February 26, 2018. doi: 10.1093/geront/gny006
Brothers, A. F., & Diehl, M. (2017). Feasibility and efficacy of the AgingPLUS program: Changing views on aging to increase engagement in physical activity. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 25, 402-411. doi: 10.1123/japa.2016-0039.
Brothers, A. F., Miche, M., Wahl, H.-W., & Diehl, M. (2017). Examination of associations among three distinct subjective aging constructs and their relevance for predicting developmental correlates. Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 72, 547-560. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbv085
Diehl, M., Chui, H., Hay, E. L., Lumley, M. A., Grühn, D., & Labouvie-Vief, G. (2014). Change in coping and defense mechanisms across adulthood: Longitudinal findings in a European American Sample. Developmental Psychology, 50, 634-648. doi: 10.1037/a0033619.
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, 93-113. doi: 10.1016/j.dr.2014.01.001
Schilling, O., & Diehl, M. (2014). Reactivity to stressor pile-up in adulthood: Effects on daily negative and positive affect. Psychology and Aging, 29, 72-83. doi: 10.1037/a0035500
Diehl, M., & Hay, E. L. (2010). Risk and resilience factors in coping with daily stress in adulthood: The role of age, self-concept incoherence, and personal control. Developmental Psychology, 46, 1132-1146. doi: 10.1037/a0019937
Diehl, M., & Wahl, H.-W. (2010). Awareness of age-related change: Examination of a (mostly) unexplored concept.Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences,65, 340-350. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbp110
Thematic Research Areas