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Author Merrell, James Todd
Title Seniors in cyberspace: The determinants and consequences of empowered Internet use among senior citizens
book jacket
Descript 131 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 63-09, Section: A, page: 3047
Adviser: Michael Cody
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Southern California, 2001
While we are in the midst of an information revolution, not all Americans, namely senior citizens, have had equal access to the benefits of computer technology. This research attempts to understand the determinants and consequences of Internet usage among an elderly population. The theory of flow is extended as an explanation for understanding senior Internet usage
First, this research investigates the determinants of Senior Internet usage. Initially, this research replicates earlier efforts to understand the types of Internet content seniors citizens utilize most frequently. This research also seeks to understand the factors influencing senior Internet usage. Hypotheses 1a and 1b contend that seniors with a positive attitude toward their own aging and an optimistic outlook on life will use the Internet more than Seniors exhibiting negative attitudes toward aging and a pessimistic outlook on life. Seniors, who believe that they can contribute to others and they can still learn new things, will be more apt to use the Internet
Second, this research posits that a number of positive outcomes will result from Senior Internet usage. Hypothesis 2 posits that following exposure to the Internet, seniors with below average health will report more positive attitudes toward aging. Access to the Internet may provide seniors, who are immobilized by poor health, with a means to remain active and involved in life, thereby improving their attitudes towards aging. Hypotheses 3a and 3b maintain that all seniors, regardless of their health will report improved attitudes toward aging and improved optimism toward life. Using the Internet the may provide seniors with an outlet to feel younger, more alive and involved. Hypotheses 4a and 4b contend that senior attitudes towards computers will improve following exposure to the Internet. Specifically, it is argued computer anxiety will decline and computer efficacy will increase, following exposure to the Internet
Third, this research suggests that individuals in a flow state will be more likely to use the Internet. This research argues that Internet usage will be positively correlated with four dimensions of flow: control, curiosity, focused attention, and intrinsic interest
School code: 0208
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 63-09A
Subject Gerontology
Mass Communications
Alt Author University of Southern California
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