Internet use and well-being in later life: a functional approach

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66 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study aimed at exploring the Internet's role in supporting subjective well-being in later life by applying a functional approach, namely, simultaneously but separately examining each of the principal online functions common among older adults (interpersonal communication, information, task performance and leisure). Methods: Data were collected online from 306 Internet users aged 50 years and over. Subjective well-being was measured according to indicators of depression and life satisfaction. Results: Interpersonal communication and information seeking were the most commonly used Internet functions, followed by task performance; use for leisure and recreation was significantly less prevalent. All four online functions were positively correlated with life satisfaction, and task performance and leisure were negatively correlated with depression. After controlling for sociodemographic variables, only leisure associated significantly with the well-being measures. Discussion: These findings revealed a paradoxical situation in which the most beneficial use of the Internet is the least popular.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-91
Number of pages7
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2018


  • Aging
  • Internet use
  • depression
  • leisure
  • satisfaction with life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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