Internet Use and Mental Well-being During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Quantitative Study on Age Differences (66693)

Session Information:

Friday, 31 March 2023 15:45
Session: Poster
Room: Orion Hall
Presentation Type:Poster Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

To examine differences in the usage of internet between younger and older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic and how age, time spent on internet and mental well-being are inter-related.
A door-to-door survey of a nationally representative sample of 602 younger (n = 302) and older (n = 300) adults in Singapore aged 21-89 years was carried out using computer-assisted personal interviewing. Participants self-reported validated measures of depression, stress and anxiety (DASS) and digital media usage patterns.
Older adults were less able to utilise digital platforms to meet needs and acquire information updates compared to younger adults during the lockdown period of the pandemic. Older adults spent significantly less time on the internet for both work and personal uses per day (146 mins ± 9.18 mins) as compared to younger adults (433.27 mins ± 14.32 mins). Statistically significant age differences in DASS were found with more adverse scores for younger adults. Mediation analysis showed that age differences in DASS were partially explained by time spent on the internet. These variables together explained 43%, 40%, 40% of the variance in depression, anxiety, and stress, respectively.
Findings suggest that there is a need to close the ‘digital divide’ for older adults especially when certain phases in the pandemic can disrupt the running of essential activities and social engagement. Paying attention to the amount of time spent on the internet however is important as our modelling suggests that it might partially explain the lower mental well-being in younger adults.

Chou Chuen Yu, Geriatric Education and Research Institute, Singapore
Nien Xiang Tou, Geriatric Education and Research Institute, Singapore
James Alvin Low, Khoo Teck Phuat Hospital, Singapore

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Chou-Chuen Yu is a research fellow at the Geriatric Education and Research Institute, Singapore. Dr Yu holds a PhD in Psychology. At present, his research focus is on 'aging and COVID-19' and has published four journal articles in this field.

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00