HD100-II - Second Heidelberg Centenarian Study
Principal Investigator: Daniela S. Jopp, PhD
Project Coordinator: Vera d'Heureuse, Dipl.-Gerontol.
Period: 01/01/2011 to 01/31/2013
The Second Heidelberg Centenarian Study (HD100-II) has as central goal to describe centenarians and their life circumstances in Germany. Specifically, we will determine the limitations which centenarians experience, as well as their psychological strengths – that is, the psychological factors which enable them to handle everyday challenges at this very old age. In a representative, population-based study conducted in the broader area of Heidelberg, centenarians will be assessed with respect to daily challenges, person characteristics, activities, social network, and quality of life. Additional information is requested by close others, such as the children of the centenarians. In order to examine whether today’s centenarians are better off than prior centenarian cohorts in terms of health, cognition, or well-being, we will compare the current data with data of the first Heidelberg Centenarian Study (HD100) which was conducted about 10 years ago. Based on our earlier findings on the important role of psychological strengths such as self-efficacy and optimism, we will furthermore examine the existence as well as the function of other, less established psychological strengths at this very advanced age, which may help the centenarians as well as their relatives to better adapt to age-associated restrictions. Finally, we will compare the Heidelberg centenarians with centenarians from other counties (e.g., USA). The overarching goal of this study is to correct the negative view on very old age held by the public, as well as to show what individuals can do to experience and modulate old age in a positive way.