Internet Use and Loneliness Among Older Adults: The Moderating Role of Self-perceptions of Ageing

Wenqian Xu, Hanna Köttl

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Loneliness in advanced age has become one of the societal concerns considering its detrimental effects on physical and mental health of older people. Information and communication technologies show the potential to prevent or tackle loneliness and social isolation among older people. Given a percentage of the older population feeling lonely, loneliness in older age has been increasingly recognized as a stereotype about older people and ageing which shapes self-perceptions of ageing. This cross-sectional study aims to investigate the interaction between older people’s Internet use and the level of loneliness, as well as introduce the important role that self-perceptions of ageing may play in this association. The analyses were performed on data of community-dwelling older adults aged 65+ years from the German Ageing Survey. Findings from this study have shown that older people’s greater Internet use was significantly associated with a lower level of loneliness; meanwhile, positive self-perceptions of ageing were correlated with a lower degree of loneliness. Additionally, self-perceptions of ageing (in the aspect of personal competence) moderate the relationship between Internet use and loneliness among older people. This paper allows insight into the important moderating role of positive self-perceptions of ageing in the relationship between older people’s Internet use and the level of loneliness. This moderating effect hence contributes to the beneficial implications of frequent Internet use on preventing or reducing the level of loneliness. Given the global context of overwhelming facilitation of digital technologies across sectors and vulnerable social groups, it is of significance to empower older adults with negative self-perceptions of ageing to ensure they gain benefits from technological advances, as well as to challenge the prevalent stereotypes about older people and ageing in societies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman Aspects of IT for the Aged Population. Technology and Society - 6th International Conference, ITAP 2020, Held as Part of the 22nd HCI International Conference, HCII 2020, Proceedings
EditorsQin Gao, Jia Zhou
PublisherSpringer
Pages364-381
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9783030502317
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020
Event6th International Conference on Human Aspects of IT for the Aged Population, ITAP 2020, held as part of the 22nd International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, HCII 2020 - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 19 Jul 202024 Jul 2020

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume12209 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

Conference

Conference6th International Conference on Human Aspects of IT for the Aged Population, ITAP 2020, held as part of the 22nd International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, HCII 2020
Country/TerritoryDenmark
CityCopenhagen
Period19/07/2024/07/20

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

Keywords

  • Digital technology
  • Image of ageing
  • Internet use
  • Loneliness
  • Older people
  • Self-perceptions of ageing
  • Social contact
  • Stereotypes
  • Survey data

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