Governments and organizations around the globe have acknowledged social isolation in aging populations to be a health risk factor. Internet technology (IT) communication and various IT strategies are used to combat social isolation in older adult populations. Rural environment resource deficits can compound the negative effects of social isolation and inhibit intervention and prevention. There is a need for more information to promote e-inclusion. A generic qualitative, interpretive descriptive approach guided this dissertation research study. Bandura’s social cognitive theory and Maslow’s theory of human motivation helped to define and describe participant perception. Ten older adult residents of a small rural town in the Western United States, six female and four males, 63-92 years old, described their subjective beliefs and experiences regarding IT use. Open-ended questioning provided current information about a specific western rural aging populations’ perception of IT use. Inductive thematic analysis of qualitative interview data collected revealed themes of fear, social connection, communication of knowledge, and convenience. Broad conceptual linkages can inform practice. Future research might further explore the influence of social isolation on risk benefit calculations to better understand older adults’ perceptions of IT use.
|Commitee:||Miller, Kathryn, Willis, Bradley|
|Department:||School of Counseling and Human Services|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-B 81/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Counseling Psychology, Behavioral Sciences, Aging|
|Keywords:||E-inclusion, Internet technology, Older adults, Rural population, Social isolation, Technology acceptance|
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