Colorado State’s College of Applied Human Sciences Hosts Lecture Series on Mind/Body Connection and Its Effects on Aging

The College of Applied Human Sciences at Colorado State University will host the 2007 Mary Scott Lecture Series with two presentations given by Carol D. Ryff titled, "Positive Aging: A Mind/Body Affair" and "Psychological Well-Being and Neurobiology: Implications for Later Life Resilience."

The lectures will present Ryff’s work on the connection between physical and mental well-being and how they vary by age, gender, socioeconomic status and cultural context.

"Positive Aging: A Mind/Body Affair," takes place at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, March 1 in the Canyon West Room at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins. The lecture is free of charge and open to the general public. Ryff will address how the mind side of health interacts with the body side and what individuals can do to age more positively in terms of both.

"We know that people who are depressed or who experience complicated grief later in life also have a compromised immune system. A compromised immune system, in turn, makes these individuals more susceptible to infections and puts them at a higher risk to die," said Manfred Diehl, professor of human development and family studies at Colorado State and director of the Center on Aging.

     The second lecture, "Psychological Well-Being and Neurobiology: Implications for Later Life Resilience," is at noon Friday, March 2 in the Lory Student Center North Ballroom. This lecture is free and open to Colorado State University faculty, staff and students. The lecture will elaborate on the connection between neurobiological processes and the experience of psychological well-being. Dr. Ryff will highlight the issue of resilience, which describes the maintenance or recovery of health in the face of adverse situations. Older adults tend to experience more adverse life events, such as the loss of a spouse or friend, or having to cope with health problems or declines in functioning. How older adults maintain a high level of psychological well-being in light of such challenges is currently not well understood.

     "There is actually increasing evidence that aging can be associated with positive developments in life and can be influenced in positive ways," Diehl said.

Ryff is a nationally and internationally known scholar in the area of psychological well-being and health. She is the director of the Institute on Aging and a professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

     This year’s Mary Scott Lecture Series is sponsored by the College of Applied Human Sciences at Colorado State University and supported through an endowment by the late Mary Scott, a Timnath native who established a trust for the college to hold a series of lectures on topics of interest to the general public.

For more information on the Mary Scott Lecture Series, contact Joan Trussell at (970) 491-1938 or