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Prof. Dr. phil. Dipl.-Psych. Susanne Wurm

Phone: +49 3834 / 867700
Fax: +49 3834 / 867701
E-Mail: susanne.wurm[at]med.uni-greifswald.de






Institute of Community Medicine
Head of Department of Prevention Research and Social Medicine
University of Medicine Greifswald
Walther-Rathenau-Str. 48
D-17475 Greifswald



Research Interests

  • Psychosocial resources and risks in their importance for health and health behavior in later life
  • Images of aging (self-perception of aging, societal age stereotypes) in middle-aged and older adults
  • Older workers and Bridge Employment
  • Psychosocial resources and risks for health and health behavior
  • Life-span developmental psychology, age and cohort effects



2019 - present                         

Chair of Social Medicine and Prevention and Director of the Department “Social Medicine and Prevention”, University Medicine, Greifswald

2013 - 2019

Professor of Psychogerontology, Deputy Director of the Institute of Psychogerontology; Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg

2012 - 2013

Deputy Head of Research, German Centre of Gerontology (DZA), Berlin

2011 - 2013

Head of Research Group „Health and Aging“, DZA Berlin

2008 - 2013

Principal Investigator of the Research Projects PREFER  I +II (Personal Resources of Elderly People with Multimorbidity: Fortification of Effective Health Behaviour); DZA, Berlin

2007 - 2013

Deputy Director German Ageing Survey (DEAS)

2001 - 2006

Research Scientist, German Centre of Gerontology, Berlin


Research Scientist, Institute for Applied Research on Family, Childhood and Youth, University of Potsdam

1998 - 2001

Research Scientist, Berlin Institute for Social Research





Margret M. and Paul B. Baltes Foundation Award in Behaioral and Social Gerontology, Gerontological Society of America (GSA)


GAS Fellow status of the Behavioral and Social Sciences Section, Gerontological Society of America (GSA)

2013 - present               

Honorary Associate, Germany Centre of Gerontology (Berlin)


Scholarly Activities

2008 - present

Member (Chair) of the committee “Health Reporting and Health Monitoring“ of the Robert Koch-Institute (RKI), Berlin

2008 - present

Advisory board member of „The lidA Cohort Study“ (German Cohort Study on Work, Age, Health and Work Participation; PI: Prof. H. M. Hasselhorn, University of Wuppertal)

2011 - present

Editorial board member of the “European Journal of Ageing”

2014 - 2018

Member of the COST-Network and Co-Chair of Work Group 5 “Internalized age stereotypes” of the European COST – Action IS 1402 Ageism, funded by the European Union

2015 - present

Advisory board member in the prevention network for healthy „AEQUIPA – Physical activity and health equity: primary prevention for healthy ageing“ funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research

2015 - present

Editorial board member of the Journal “GeroPsych – The Journal of Gerontopsychology and Geriatric Psychiatry“

2016 - 2018

Advisory board member of the project „Improving Health Monitoring in Old Age (IMOA)“, Robert Koch-Institute (RKI) Berlin

2016 - present

Member of the North Rhine-Westphalian research network „Labor market participation in higher working age“ funded by the Ministry for Innovation, Science and Research of North Rhine-Westphalia

2017 - present

Member of the research network "Images of Aging: Via a Dynamic Life-span Model to New Perspectives for Research and Practice" fundet by the German Research Foundation (DFG)

2017 - present

Advisory board member of the projekt „successful = healthy = good aging?“ Images of aging and premises of gerontological and socio-political aging discourses in Germany“ (PI’s: PD Dr. M. Schweda, Universität Göttingen, Dr. L. Pfaller, Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg), funded by the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG)

2018 - present   

Advisory Board Member of the project "BURDEN 2020 - Burden of disease in Germany at the national and regional level“, Robert Koch-Institut Berlin

2018 - present                                                      

Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Health Monitoring

Scientific Memberships

  • Gerontological Society of America (GSA, since 2006)
  • German Psychological Society (DGPs: Division Health Psychology, Developmental Psychology, since 2006)
  • German Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (DGGG, since 2013)
  • European Health Psychology Society (EHPS, since 2007)


Ad hoc Reviews
Among others: Age & Ageing, Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, Bundesgesundheitsblatt, Das Gesund­heitswesen, Developmental Psychology, Gerontology, GeroPsych, European Journal of Ageing, Experimental Aging Research, Experimental Gerontology, International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Journal for Labour Mar­ket Research, Journal of Affective Disorders, Journal of Geriatrics, Journal of Health Psychology, Journals of Gerontology: Psychological and Social Sciences, Psychology and Health, Psychology and Aging, Re­search on Aging, Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, The Journal of Positive Psychology, PLOS ONE, Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie


Selected Publications
(all publications)


Wurm, S., Wiest, M., Wolff, J. K., Beyer, A.-K., & Spuling, S. M. (2019). Changes in views on aging in later adulthood: The role of cardiovascular events. European Journal of Ageing. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10433-019-00547-5

Warner, L. M., Wolff, J. K., Spuling, S. M., & Wurm, S. (2019). Perceived somatic and affective barriers for self-efficacy and physical activity. Journal of Health Psychology, 24(13), 1850-1862. https://doi.org/10.1177/1359105317705979

Beyer, A.-K., Wolff, J. K., Freiberger, E., & Wurm, S. (2019). Are self-perceptions of ageing modifiable? Examination of an exercise programme with vs. without a self-perceptions of ageing-intervention for older adults. Psychology & Health, 34(6), 661-676. https://doi.org/10.1080/08870446.2018.1556273

Beyer, A.-K., Wiest, M., & Wurm, S. (2019, online first). There is still time to be active: Self-perceptions of aging, physical activity, and the role of perceived residual lifetime among older adults. Journal of Aging & Physical Activityhttps://doi.org/10.1123/japa.2018-0380

Wurm, S., & Kornadt, A. E. (2019). Self-perceptions of aging. In D. Gu & M. E. Dupre (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature Switzerland.

Wurm, S., & Kornadt, A. E. (2019). Life-Span Development. In D. Gu & M. E. Dupre (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature Switzerland.

Lev, S., Wurm, S., & Ayalon, L. (2018). Origins of Ageism at the Individual Level. In L. Ayalon & C. Tesch-Römer (Eds.), Contemporary Perspectives on Ageism. International Perspectives on Aging (Vol. 19, pp. 51-72). Cham: Springer.

Westerhof, G. J., & Wurm, S. (2018). Subjective aging and health. In B. G. Knight & H.-W. Wahl (Eds.), Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology and Aging. Oxford: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190236557.013.4

Wurm, S., Diehl, M., Kornadt, A., Westerhof, G., & Wahl, H.-W. (2017). How do views on aging affect health outcomes in adulthood and late life? Explanations for an established connection. Developmental Review, 46, 27-43. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dr.2017.08.002

Spuling, S. M., Huxhold, O., & Wurm, S. (2017). Predictors of Self-Rated Health: Does Education Play a Role Above and Beyond Age? The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 72(3), 415-424. https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbv057

Wolff, J. K., Schüz, B., Ziegelmann, J. P., Warner, L. M., & Wurm, S. (2017). Short-Term Buffers, but Long-Term Suffers? Differential Effects of Negative Self-Perceptions of Aging Following Serious Health Events. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 72(3), 408-414. https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbv058

Spuling, S., Wolff, J. K., & Wurm, S. (2017). Response Shift in Self-Rated Health after Serious Health Events in Old Age. Social Science & Medicine, 192, 85-93.

Klaus, D., Engstler, H., Mahne, K., Wolff, J. K., Simonson, J., Wurm, S., & Tesch-Römer, C. (2017). Cohort Profile: The German Ageing Survey (DEAS). International Journal of Epidemiology, 46(4), 1105-1105g. https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyw326

Wurm, S., & Benyamini, Y. (2014). Optimism buffers the detrimental effect of negative self-perceptions of ageing on physical and mental health. Psychology & Health, 29(7), 832-848. https://doi.org/10.1080/08870446.2014.891737

Wurm, S., Wolff, J. K., & Schüz, B. (2014). Primary care supply moderates the impact of diseases on self-perceptions of aging. Psychology and Aging, 29(2), 351-358. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0036248

Wurm, S., Warner, L.M., Ziegelmann, J., Wolff, J.K., Schüz, B. (2013). How do negative self-perceptions of aging become a self-fulfilling prophecy? Psychology and Aging, 28(4), 1088-1097. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0032845

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