Scientific Network "Images of Aging: Via a Dynamic Life-span Model to New Perspectives for Research and Practice" funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)


Funding Period:
2017 to 2021
Network Members:
Dr. Verena Klusmann (Speaker, PI)
Ann-Kristin Beyer, Robert Koch Institut, Department of Epidemiology and Health Monitoring
Anne Blawert, University Medicine Greifswald, Department of Social Medicine and Prevention
Dr. Martina Gabrian, Universität Heidelberg
Prof. Dr. Eva-Marie Kessler, MSB Medical School Berlin - Hochschule für Gesundheit und Medizin
Dr. Anna E. Kornadt, Université du Luxembourg, Maison des Sciences Humaines
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Nanna Notthoff, Leipzig University
Dr. Svenja M. Spuling, Deutsches Zentrum für Altersfragen
Dr. Maja Wiest, Freie Universität Berlin
Dr. Julia K. Wolff, University Medicine Greifswald, Department of Social Medicine and Prevention
Prof. Dr. Susanne Wurm,University Medicine Greifswald, Department of Social Medicine and Prevention

Project Description

Over the past 20 years, research has substantiated the importance of images of aging for successful development and sustained quality of life over the full length of the life span. To date, a deep understanding of the origins of images of aging and the underlying processes by which they influence important outcomes is lacking. Such an understanding is necessary for translation of scientific findings into interventions and public policies. Our network aims at closing these research gaps. Our goals are to propose a common terminology in this research area, to examine possible determinants of images of aging, and to understand the mechanisms by which they are operating. We will consider the role of various context factors.

To accomplish these goals, since 2017 we had serveral network meetings and workshops and established collaborations with national and international colleagues. Centrals results of our network are ready to be published in a Special Issue at the European Journal of Ageing.

Network Guests

Yael Benyamini, Ph.D., Professor, Tel-Aviv University
Becca Levy, Ph.D., Professor, Yale University
Joann M. Montepare, Ph.D., Professor, Lasell College
Dr. Kerry A. Sargent-Cox, Ph.D., The Australian National University
Yannick Stephan, Ph.D., Université Montpellier
Prof. Dr. Hans-Werner Wahl, Heidelberg University
Prof. Dr. Gerben J. Westerhof, University of Twente

Central Publications of the Network:

Klusmann, V., Notthoff, N., Beyer, A.-K., Blawert, A., & Gabrian, M. (2020). The assessment of views on ageing: A review of self-report measures and innovative extensions. European Journal of Ageing.

Editor's Choice Article: Klusmann, V., Sproesser, G., Wolff, J., & Renner, B. (2019). Positive self-perceptions of aging promote healthy eating behavior across the lifespan via social-cognitive processes. Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 74, 735―744. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbx139

Benyamini, Y. & Burns, E. (2019) Views on aging: older adults’ self-perceptions of age and of health. European Journal of Ageing.

Bowen, C. E., Spuling, S., Kornadt, A. E., & Wiest, M. (2019). Young people feel wise and older people feel energetic: Comparing age stereotypes and self‑evaluations across adulthood. European Journal of Ageing.

Kornadt, A. E., Kessler, E.-M., Wurm, S., Bowen, C. E., Gabrian, M., & Klusmann, V. (2019). Views on ageing: A lifespan perspective. European Journal of Ageing.

Montepare, J. (2019). An exploration of subjective age, actual age, age awareness, and engagement in everyday behaviors. European Journal of Ageing.

Spuling, S. M., Klusmann, V., Bowen, C. E., Kornadt, A. E., & Kessler, E. M. (2019). The uniqueness of subjective ageing: Convergent and discriminant validity. European Journal of Ageing.

Stephan, Y., Sutin, A. R., & Terracciano, A. (2019). Physical activity and subjective age across adulthood in four samples. European Journal of Ageing.

Wurm, S., Wiest, M., Wolff, J. K., Beyer, A.-K., & Spuling, S. (2019). Changes in views on aging in later adulthood: The role of cardiovascular events. European Journal of Ageing.

Images of Aging in the Media

Reckwell, J. (2020). "Die Corona-Pandemie ist in der Tat auch ein herber Schlag für die Antidiskriminierungsbemühungen." Interview mit Verena Klusmann-Weißkopf, Leitung des Arbeitsbereichs Gesundheitswissenschaft des Institutes für Bewegungswissenschaft. Interviewreihe - eine Fakultät stellt sich vor #2.

Dörhofer, P. (2020). Diskriminierung im Alter: "Die Corona-Krise kann den Generationenkonflikt verstärken". Frankfurter Rundschau (

Schneider, A. (2020). Ältere Menschen in der Berichterstattung: Isoliert auch in den Medien.Deutschlandfunk.

Haist, K. & Kutz, S. (2020). Corona ist vernichtend - auch für unseren Blick auf das Alter.

Robson, D. (July, 2018). The age you feel means more than your actual birthdate.BBC.

Kunze, A. (June, 2018). Glückliche Alte. Die Zeit. 

LFV Healthy Ageing (February 3, 2017). Eine positive Einstellung zum Altern verlängert das Leben.

Donovan, J. (September 2, 2016). “One in Six Say They'd Rather Die 'Young.' What Age Is That?”

Wurm, S., & Saß, A. C. (2015). Gesundes Leben im Alter – geht mit dem Alter alles nur bergab? Der Bürger im Staat, 65 (2/3), 130-137.