Information and communicative technology use enhances psychological well-being of older adults: The roles of age, social connectedness, and frailty status

Yang FANG, Anson K. C. CHAU, Ling Yu Anna WONG, Helene H. FUNG, Jean WOO

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79 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: Information and communicative technology (ICT) use is a potential vehicle for improving the psychological well-being (PWB) of older people. We examined the roles of age, frailty, and social connectedness in the relationship between ICT use and PWB. 

Method: Telephone interviews were conducted in mid-2016 with 1201 participants aged 50 and above (55.7% female) residing in Hong Kong, China. The participants reported PWB, ICT use (frequency of using the Internet and smart devices), frailty status, contact with family, friends, and neighbors, self-rated health, subjective financial sufficiency, education level, and employment status. 

Results: We found that the association between ICT and PWB was moderated by age: ICT was associated with PWB only among old-olds (75+), but not in other age groups. This moderation was mediated by contact with family, but not with friends or neighbors. The moderation was further qualified by frailty status: the ICT-by-age moderation was found only among frail, but not pre-frail or robust older adults. 

Conclusion: The findings suggest that ICT use can potentially enhance the PWB of older adults aged 75+ through facilitating their contact with family members. These benefits might be particularly salient for those who were frail. Improving ICT access and literacy among older adults may be promising. Copyright © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1516-1524
JournalAging & Mental Health
Volume22
Issue number11
Early online dateAug 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Citation

Fang, Y., Chau, A. K. C., Wong, A., Fung, H. H., & Woo, J. (2018). Information and communicative technology use enhances psychological well-being of older adults: The roles of age, social connectedness, and frailty status. Aging & Mental Health, 22(11), 1516-1524. https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2017.1358354

Keywords

  • Life satisfaction
  • Socio-emotional selectivity theory
  • Selective optimization and compensation
  • Gerontechnology
  • Hong Kong SAR

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