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Older adults’ online information seeking and subjective well-being: The moderating role of internet skills


Hofer, Matthias; Hargittai, Eszter; Büchi, Moritz; Seifert, Alexander (2019). Older adults’ online information seeking and subjective well-being: The moderating role of internet skills. International Journal of Communication, 13:4426-4443.

Abstract

As increasing numbers of older adults incorporate the Internet into their lives, it is important to go beyond studying whether being an Internet user makes a difference for this population by examining how specific uses and skills relate to subjective well-being. This study examines the association between online information seeking and life satisfaction as one defining component of subjective well-being among 643 Swiss Internet users aged 60 and over. We find a positive relationship between online information seeking and older adults’ life satisfaction. Inspired by digital inequality research, we then explore whether this relationship is moderated by Internet skills. Results suggest that with increasing Internet skills, the association between online information seeking and life satisfaction gets stronger. We discuss the findings in light of both research on well-being and on digital inequality.

Abstract

As increasing numbers of older adults incorporate the Internet into their lives, it is important to go beyond studying whether being an Internet user makes a difference for this population by examining how specific uses and skills relate to subjective well-being. This study examines the association between online information seeking and life satisfaction as one defining component of subjective well-being among 643 Swiss Internet users aged 60 and over. We find a positive relationship between online information seeking and older adults’ life satisfaction. Inspired by digital inequality research, we then explore whether this relationship is moderated by Internet skills. Results suggest that with increasing Internet skills, the association between online information seeking and life satisfaction gets stronger. We discuss the findings in light of both research on well-being and on digital inequality.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Center for Gerontology
06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Uncontrolled Keywords:Online information seeking, Internet use, life satisfaction, well-being, older adults, Internet skills, digital inequality
Language:English
Date:2019
Deposited On:04 Nov 2019 14:33
Last Modified:04 Nov 2019 14:33
Publisher:University of Southern California
ISSN:1932-8036
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:https://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/10981

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