Technology access and use, and their associations with social engagement among older adults: Do women and men differ?

Jeehoon Kim, Hee Yun Lee, M. Candace Christensen, Joseph R. Merighi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: To examine how information and communication technology (ICT) access and use are conceptually incorporated in the Successful Aging 2.0 framework. Method: Using data from the 2011 National Health and Aging Trends Study (N = 6,476), we examined how ICT access and use for different purposes are associated with social engagement (i.e., informal and formal social participation) by gender. Weighted logistic regression analyses were performed. Results: Findings revealed that men were more likely to access and use ICT than women. ICT access was positively associated with all types of women’s social engagement, but only with men’s informal social participation. Information technology (IT) use for health matters was positively associated with formal social participation for women and with informal social participation for men. IT use for personal tasks was negatively associated with formal social participation for older adults. Communication technology use was positively associated with formal and informal social participation for women and men. Discussion: This study supports the expansion of the successful aging model by incorporating ICT access and use. Further, it assists in the identification of specific technologies that promote active engagement in later life for women and men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)836-845
Number of pages10
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume72
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

Keywords

  • Formal social participation
  • Gender
  • Informal social participation
  • Information and communication technology (ICT)
  • Successful aging

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