Skip Navigation

Awareness of Age-Related Change: Examination of a (Mostly) Unexplored Concept

  1. Hans-Werner Wahl2
  1. 1Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Colorado State University, Fort Collins
  2. 2Department of Psychological Aging Research, Institute of Psychology, University of Heidelberg, Germany
  1. Address correspondence to Manfred K. Diehl, PhD, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, 1570 Campus Delivery, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523. Email: manfred.diehl{at}
  • Received January 27, 2009.
  • Accepted August 26, 2009.


This theoretical article discusses the emerging concept of awareness of age-related change (AARC). We propose that a focus on AARC extends the research traditions on subjective age experiences and age identity and that examination of this concept can serve a stimulating role in social gerontology. After defining and contrasting AARC against similar concepts, several reasons for the relevance of this mostly unexplored construct are provided. The sample domains of health and physical functioning, cognitive functioning, and interpersonal relations are used to illustrate the relevance of AARC. Based on this review, we then provide a heuristic framework that describes antecedents, processes, and outcomes related to AARC. Overall, we argue that research on AARC should become an integral part of social gerontological research.

Key words

    | Table of Contents

    This Article

    1. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 65B (3): 340-350. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbp110
    1. All Versions of this Article:
      1. gbp110v1
      2. 65B/3/340 most recent


      • Journal of Gerontology: PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCES


    1. Email this article

    Published on behalf of

    The Gerontological Society of America

    Impact Factor: 3.213

    5-Yr impact factor: 3.856

    Editorial Boards

    The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences

    Bob G. Knight, PhD

    The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Social Sciences

    Deborah S. Carr, PhD, Editor

    For Authors

    Open access options for authors - visit Oxford Open RCUK Wellcome

    Looking for your next opportunity?

    Looking for jobs...

    Disclaimer: Please note that abstracts for content published before 1996 were created through digital scanning and may therefore not exactly replicate the text of the original print issues. All efforts have been made to ensure accuracy, but the Publisher will not be held responsible for any remaining inaccuracies. If you require any further clarification, please contact our Customer Services Department.