Older Adults’ Adaptations to the Call for Social Distancing and Use of Technology: Insights From Socioemotional Selectivity Theory and Lived Experiences

Shoshana H. Bardach, Elizabeth K. Rhodus, Kelly Parsons, Allison K. Gibson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Social distancing guidelines during COVID can be isolating, especially for older adults, with potential for poor health outcomes. Technology offers opportunities for remote connection, yet, older adults’ use of and perspectives on technology during this time remain largely unknown. The purpose of this study was to gain insight into older adults’ technology use and preferences to inform the development of a technology training intervention to support older adult well-being. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 30 older adults. Interviews were analyzed using an iterative, constant comparison approach. Findings were consistent with Socioemotional Selectivity Theory; respondents were primarily interested in technology to support emotionally meaningful goals. Participants indicated limited interest in technology training, referencing diminished future time perspectives to explain disinterest. Findings suggest that efforts to encourage older adults’ expanded technology adoption should highlight how use supports emotionally meaningful goals and provide low-effort, timely training, tied to specific and clear applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)814-817
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Volume40
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.

Keywords

  • social support
  • technology
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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