The effect of information and communications technology use on the well-being of older Hong Kong Chinese adults

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)710–725
Number of pages16
Journal / PublicationEducational Gerontology
Volume49
Issue number8
Online published27 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Abstract

The use of information and communications technology (ICT) has increased across all regions and age groups. However, little research has examined older adults’ use of ICT for different purposes. To address this research gap, the current study investigates the effects of ICT use for four purposes – social, leisure, financial, and medical – on the well-being of older adults. Most importantly, this study explores whether social support from friends may account for the observed positive effects of ICT use for social and leisure purposes. A total of 525 Hong Kong Chinese adults aged 60 and above (Mage = 68.7, SD = 6.27, Range = 60–100 years) completed an interview session to measure their ICT use for various purposes, social support from friends, and well-being indicators, including life satisfaction, positive and negative emotions and cognitive functioning. The results demonstrate that ICT use for all four purposes was associated with more frequent positive emotions and improved cognitive functioning. Moreover, ICT use for leisure and financial purposes was associated with higher levels of life satisfaction and fewer negative emotions. Social support was found to partially account for the effects of ICT use for social and leisure purposes on life satisfaction and positive emotions. These findings suggest that ICT use for all purposes is beneficial to older adults, and that ICT use may improve the emotional wellbeing of older adults by allowing for greater support from friends.