Referring to the systemic and proactive theorization on positive aging (Rowe e Khan, 1997; Kahana et al., 2006), the study analyzed the role of proactive coping strategies for the formulation of personal projects in life, a research area of Positive Psychology that is rooted in the field of Maslow’s Humanistic Psychology. A sample of 300 Italian old people (M = 71.86; DS = 7.01) participated in the study. The proactive coping strategies, referred to as active management of the environment, accumulation of resources and actualization of human potentials (Schwarzer e Taubert, 2002) are confirmed as positive predictors of many personal projects focused on family, culture, leisure time, civic and social participation. Perceived health status gives also a significant contribution to the possession of many personal projects. Gender and level of school education also influence the presence of personal projects: having a better school education promotes a more richness of personal projects, while being male can leads to a major involvement in projects centered on civic and political participation. The study highlights that having many projects in old age is related not only to educational and health resources, but also to the ability of envisioning a better future and to the ability to identify resources for actualizing talents and potentials.
Keywords: Old age, proactive coping, personal projects, perceived health.