Fernandez-Ballesteros, R., Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain
The combination of an unprecedented increase in life expectancy and a dramatic decrease in birth rate is causing a significant rise in the absolute and relative numbers of older people in Europe. This demographic situation is giving rise to the implementation of social and health programs, as well as other policies, by the European Union. In order to support these actions, from a "salutogenic" perspective, it is necessary to develop a knowledge data base on the relative contribution to bio- behavioral and psychosocial determinants of changes in competence across the life-span. Since 1993, the European Commission has supported two Concerted Actions on Gerontology in order to proceed to a European longitudinal study on aging. After the drawing up of a general plan for EXCELSA, as a pre-requisite, a pilot study was conducted. The main purpose of EXCELSA-Pilot was to adapt and validate the European Survey on Aging Protocol (ESAP) in several European Countries (Austria, Finland, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain). The ESAP will be presented: adaptation procedures, psychometric properties and several relevant results will be discussed. Finally, it will be presented the forthcoming projects on the research of ageing in Europe.