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Empowering the elderly population through ICT-based activities: An empirical study of older adults in Korea

Mann Hyung Hur (Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)

Information Technology & People

ISSN: 0959-3845

Article publication date: 6 June 2016




The purpose of this paper is to focus on elderly people who have adopted Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and participated in ICT-based activities, and explore variables associated with their individual and collective empowerment by using data collected by a questionnaire survey.


A set of 14 questions was developed to measure older adults’ perceived psychological empowerment. A factor analysis was conducted to condense 14 individual variables into several large categories. Finally, a set of multiple regression analyses was employed to identify variables associated with the elderly’s individual and collective empowerment.


Three factors, including a sense of meaning; competence/self-determination; and collective empowerment were extracted from the 14 questions. Multiple regression models revealed that elderly empowerment is not a matter of social skills, ICT skills, or complementary skills, but is more likely to result from their being interested in ICT and ICT-based activities. Learning activities in ICT-based activities and participation frequency were found to be predictors of both meaning and competence/self-determination dimensions.

Research limitations/implications

The major finding of this study concerns the development of a measure that assesses three factors of empowerment in older adults, i.e., sense of meaning, competence/self-determination, and collective empowerment. This study represents an initial step in establishing the measure, and therefore, further work is needed to establish its psychometric properties, particularly external validity.


This study is one of the first studies to focus on older people’s empowerment construct and its relation to ICT-based activities.



Hur, M.H. (2016), "Empowering the elderly population through ICT-based activities: An empirical study of older adults in Korea", Information Technology & People, Vol. 29 No. 2, pp. 318-333.



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