The Impact of an Internet Use Promotion Programme on Communication, Internet Use, and the Extent of Social Networks among Low-Income Older Adults
Author ORCID Identifier
Jinsook Kim: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8616-1988
Jennifer A. Gray: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9586-2444
We examined whether an internet use promotion intervention influences low-income older adults’ communication modes, internet use, and social networks using existing data collected for an intervention. Participants living in public senior housing facilities in the United States (n = 77) completed surveys before and after a 12-week computer and internet training. The six-item Lubben Social Network Scale (LSNS-6) was used to measure the extent of older adults’ social networks. The primary mode of communication shifted from more traditional means to internet-based communications (p <.0005 in a Fisher’s exact test). The frequency of internet use significantly increased (p <.00005 in a one-sided Sign test). Overall, the LSNS-6 score increased by 4.1 points (p <.00005 in a Welch’s t-test). The LSNS-6 score increase was significantly larger among African Americans than Whites, controlling for gender (p <.05 in negative binomial regression). Moderate (p <.005) and frequent internet users (p <.05) had higher LSNS-6 scores than rare internet users at posttest when gender and race were controlled for in linear regression. Comparatively more improvement in the extent of social networks among African Americans suggests greater benefits of such interventions for population groups of disadvantaged backgrounds. Larger social networks among moderate and frequent internet users than rare users suggest positive impacts of internet communications on social networks.
Internet use, Intervention, Older adults, Programme evaluation, Social networks
Kim, Jinsook; Gray, Jennifer A.; Ciesla, James R.; and Yao, Ping, "The Impact of an Internet Use Promotion Programme on Communication, Internet Use, and the Extent of Social Networks among Low-Income Older Adults" (2022). NIU Bibliography. 25.
School of Health Studies