Public Release: 

Gerstorf wins GSA's 2011 Baltes Foundation Award

The Gerontological Society of America

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Denis Gerstorf, PhD, of Penn State University as the 2011 recipient of the Margret M. and Paul B. Baltes Foundation Award in Behavioral and Social Gerontology.

This distinguished honor, given annually, recognizes outstanding early career contributions in behavioral and social gerontology. Individuals who have received their doctorate within the last ten years are eligible. The award is given by GSA in conjunction with the Margret M. and Paul B. Baltes Foundation.

The award presentation will take place at GSA's 64th Annual Scientific Meeting, which will be held from November 18 to 22 in Boston, MA. This conference is organized to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers, educators, and practitioners who specialize in the study of the aging process. Visit for further details.

Gerstorf is an assistant professor of human development in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Penn State University. He also holds an appointment as a research affiliate at the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin, Germany. In July 2011, Gerstorf joined the faculty at the Institute of Psychology at Humboldt University of Berlin as a professor of developmental psychology. His primary research interests include heterogeneity and differential development in old and advanced old age.

His studies have demonstrated that major life events, such as impending death, come along with lasting changes in well-being. Gerstorf has found that levels of life satisfaction decline quite rapidly as individuals approach death. Using advanced multivariate growth curve modeling, his research also has shown that well-being is not only a consequence of, but also a source for, successful aging outcomes.

Gerstorf serves on the editorial boards of Psychology and Aging, Gerontology, GeroPsych, and the European Journal of Ageing. He currently is acting as an interim editor for the Behavioral Science Section of Gerontology. Furthermore, he has initiated several special issues in aging journals and organized multiple symposia at international conferences on major topics in lifespan development and aging, intra-individual variability, and dyadic interrelations.

In addition to GSA's Baltes Award, Gerstorf has received the Springer Early Career Achievement Award in Research in Adult Development and Aging from the American Psychological Association's Division on Adult Development and Aging (Division 20). He earned his PhD in 2004 from the Free University in Berlin and spent one year as a post-doc at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin.


The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society -- and its 5,400+ members -- is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA's structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society, and an educational branch, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.

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