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Communication technologies in older people’s long-distance family relationships, and the impact on isolation and loneliness

Vanessa Burholt Orcid Logo, John Percival, Deborah Morgan Orcid Logo

Information, Communication & Society, Pages: 1 - 20

Swansea University Authors: Vanessa Burholt Orcid Logo, John Percival, Deborah Morgan Orcid Logo

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Abstract

The concept 'performance expectancy' is used to theorize about older people’s day-to-day use of technology mediated communication (telephone, text/emails and video calls) in family relationships and the impact on social isolation and loneliness. Using theoretical and methodological triangu...

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Published in: Information, Communication & Society
ISSN: 1369-118X 1468-4462
Published: Informa UK Limited 2023
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa63761
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Abstract: The concept 'performance expectancy' is used to theorize about older people’s day-to-day use of technology mediated communication (telephone, text/emails and video calls) in family relationships and the impact on social isolation and loneliness. Using theoretical and methodological triangulation six mediation models are conceptualized, followed by empirical validation using a nationally representative dataset of older people (≥65 years)living in Wales, UK (N= 2,099). The results reveal that frequency of telephone and video calls mediate the relationship between proximity of family and social isolation, and telephone cells mediate the relationship with loneliness. Text/emails have no significant mediating effect. Qualitative data analysis provides a deeper understanding of conditions that facilitate technology mediated communication. Demonstrating the impact of lifecourse habits, social context and environment on technology mediated communication shifts the focus from individual deficits to other reasons for non-adoption. Understanding the link between the individual, the social-cultural and social structural environment, social interaction, and loneliness requires an understanding of what is important to older people. For example, knowledge concerning the role of embodied presence in alleviating loneliness can be used to better understand the likelihood of implementing successful interventions
Keywords: Older people; technology mediated communication; telephone; social relationships; families; CFAS Wales study
College: Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council; Higher Education Funding Council for Wales
Start Page: 1
End Page: 20