CSU’s Diehl elected president of national psychology organization

Manfred Diehl, a professor in CSU’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies, has been selected to lead the nation’s preeminent organization focused on the psychology of adult development and aging.

Diehl was recently elected president of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Division on Adult Development and Aging (Division 20). It is a three-year term; he is currently serving as president-elect and will take the helm in early August 2016, when the APA holds its annual conference in Denver.

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Manfred Diehl

“I consider this a vote of confidence and quite an honor,” Diehl said. “This is a very meaningful recognition from my peers. It is basically the organization that serves as the umbrella for education and research on adult development and aging.”

His election comes on the heels of another honor: Last year, Diehl received the Humboldt Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, one of the oldest and most prestigious science foundations in Europe.

Diehl has been a member of the APA since he was a graduate student at Penn State in 1988. He was named a Fellow of Division 20 in 2006. The APA and its division on adult development and aging was formed in 1945.

As president, Diehl will advocate at the national level to raise the profile of education and research in the field, from allocating more research funding to working closely with the APA’s Committee on Aging, which he co-chaired in 2013.

Diehl said he will also work with the division’s membership to identify the top priorities in the field and to be a champion for issues such as the aging workforce or how to motivate people to age more actively. Research by the division’s members plays a crucial role in guiding policy decisions by employers and lawmakers.

“We need accurate information, because there are so many misconceptions about aging out there,” he said. “That’s a big role of the president, to make sure the division’s voice is heard.”

“This is an exciting time in which to be in a national leadership role,” said Lise Youngblade, head of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, which is in CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences. “CSU is currently building the Columbine Health Systems Center for Healthy Aging and we are working to increase interdisciplinary research and student training in aging.”

Diehl is known for his research in the area of awareness of age-related changes. His most recent work is demonstrating that a targeted educational program, called AgingPLUS, can improve middle-aged and older adults’ negative views on aging and can help them form new positive habits, such as engaging in regular exercise or committing to healthy eating. Diehl is currently seeking middle-aged and older adults ages 50 and up to participate in a new research study testing this program. For more information, email Allyson.Brothers@colostate.edu or Manfred.Diehl@colostate.edu.