Older adults' experiences and perceptions of digital technology: (dis)empowerment, wellbeing, and inclusion

Hill, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-2938-8825, Betts, L.R. ORCID: 0000-0002-6147-8089 and Gardner, S.E. ORCID: 0000-0003-3443-7844, 2015. Older adults' experiences and perceptions of digital technology: (dis)empowerment, wellbeing, and inclusion. Computers in Human Behavior, 48, pp. 415-423. ISSN 0747-5632

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As more and more of the business of society is transferred and conducted online, older adults frequently find themselves without the skills to participate effectively. This is frequently confounded by limited physical mobility and a decrease in their social network and contact. This paper examines the lived reality of that process and how digital technology could be used to enhance the life activity of older adults and their wellbeing by increasing their social network. Seventeen older adults (10 female, 7 male Mage = 71.67, SDage = 10.05) participated in two focus groups that each lasted approximately 90 min. Interpretative phenomenological analysis yielded two main themes: digital technology serving as a tool to disempower and empower. Findings support evidence of a digital divide and how that divide is evolving from the ideographic perspective of digitally-engaged older adults and for society. Discussions also surround barriers to digital technology use for older adults, the codification of digital technology use within society, and how older adults use digital technology in a facilitative and inclusive way to empower themselves and protect them from the negative effects of the digital divide.

Item Type: Journal article
Alternative Title: Empowerment and enablement through digital technology in the generation of the digital age
Publication Title: Computers in Human Behavior
Creators: Hill, R., Betts, L.R. and Gardner, S.E.
Publisher: Pergamon Press
Place of Publication: Oxford
Date: July 2015
Volume: 48
ISSN: 0747-5632
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 09:47
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2017 12:23
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/2707

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