Self-Perceptions of Aging and Everyday ICT Engagement: A Test of Reciprocal Associations

Hanna Köttl, Ella Cohn-Schwartz, Liat Ayalon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Everyday information and communication technologies (EICTs), involving digital services, such as online shopping, e-banking, and video calling, are perceived to be associated with youth and a modern lifestyle. On the other hand, older adults are often portrayed as technology-alienated, less willing, and incapable of using EICT. The internalization of potentially negative age stereotypes may compromise actual later life engagement and the ability to perform EICT. At the same time, low engagement in EICT may also contribute to negative self-perceptions of aging (SPA), for example, related to physical loss, social loss, and personal competence. This study was, hence, designed to evaluate the temporal reciprocal associations of SPA and older adults' EICT use. METHODS: The article was based on 2 waves (2014 and 2017) from the German Ageing Survey (DEAS), a nationally representative survey of middle-aged and older individuals aged 40 and older. A cross-lagged model (N = 3,600) was estimated to examine the reciprocal associations of SPA and EICT. RESULTS: The lagged effect of SPA on EICT engagement was nonsignificant, whereas the lagged effect of EICT engagement on SPA in the domain personal competence was significant, indicating that greater EICT engagement predicted more positive SPA related to personal competence 3 years later. DISCUSSION: These findings encourage researchers and policymakers to put further emphasis on the empowerment of older individuals in their EICT engagement. Interventions that promote lifelong learning and age-friendly environments can enhance a more positive aging experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1913-1922
Number of pages10
JournalThe Journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume76
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 30 Oct 2021

Keywords

  • Ageism
  • Internet
  • Self-ageism
  • Technology
  • Views on aging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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