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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

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Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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

Keywords

Citation

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. https://doi.org/10.1108/ITP-03-2015-0052

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited