Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Socio-economic status over the lifecourse and internet use in older adulthood

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 January 2013

MICHELLE PANNOR SILVER
Affiliation:
Department of Social Sciences, University of Toronto, Canada.
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

This study explored associations between socio-economic status (SES) at different phases in the lifecourse and regular internet use among older adults. A sample (N = 11,035) from the 2010 wave of the United States Health and Retirement Study was used. Odds ratios were estimated to explore the relationship between regular internet use in older adulthood and measures of SES in childhood and in adulthood, and cumulative SES. Findings provided support for the lifecourse perspective, suggesting that variations observed among older adults are reflective of cumulative experiences. Three main themes emerged: higher SES in childhood increased the odds of being an internet user in older adulthood; SES advantages tended to accumulate, so that having at least one period of high SES in the lifecourse increased the odds of being an internet user in older adulthood; age did not appear to modify the positive relationship between cumulative SES and internet use.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

References

Cannuscio, C., Block, J. and Kawachi, I. 2003. Social capital and successful aging: the role of senior housing. Annals of Internal Medicine, 139, 5, 395–99.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Carson, A. P., Rose, K. M., Catellier, D. J., Kaufman, J. S., Wyatt, S. B., Diez-Roux, A. V. and Heiss, G. 2007. Cumulative socioeconomic status across the life course and subclinical atherosclerosis. Annals of Epidemiology, 17, 4, 296303.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Chen, Y. and Persson, A. 2010. Internet use among young and older adults: relation to psychological wellbeing. Educational Gerontology, 28, 9, 731–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chichlowska, K. L., Rose, K. M., Diez-Roux, A. V., Golden, S. H., McNeill, A. M. and Heiss, G. 2009. Life course socioeconomic conditions and metabolic syndrome in adults: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. Annals of Epidemiology, 19, 12, 875–83.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Cho, J., de Zuniga, G., Rojas, H. and Shah, D. V. 2003. Beyond access: the digital divide and Internet uses and gratifications. IT and Society, 1, 4, 4672.Google Scholar
Couldry, N. 2007. Communicative Entitlements and Democracy: The Future of the Digital Divide. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 383403.Google Scholar
Czaja, S. J., Charness, N., Fisk, A. D., Hertzog, C., Nair, S. N., Rogers, W. A. and Sharit, J. 2006. Factors predicting the use of technology: findings from the Center for Research and Education on Aging and Technology Enhancement (CREATE). Psychology and Aging, 21, 2, 333–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Czaja, S. J. and Sharit, J. 1998. Age differences in attitudes toward computers. Journals of Gerontology: Psychology Sciences, 53B, 5, 329–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dannefer, D. 2003. Cumulative advantage/disadvantage and the life course: cross-fertilizing age and social science theory. Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 58B, 6, S327–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Elder, G. H. 1992. Models of the life course. Contemporary Sociology, 21, 5, 632–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Elder, G. H. 1998. The lifecourse as developmental theory. Child Development, 69, 1, 112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Elder, G. H. and O'Rand, A. M. 1995. Adult lives in a changing society. In Cook, K. S., Fine, G. A. and House, J. S. (eds), Sociological Perspectives on Social Psychology. Allyn & Bacon, Boston, 452–75.Google Scholar
Fox, S. and Jones, S. 2009. The Social Life of Health Information: American's Pursuit of Health Takes Place Within a Widening Network of Both Online and Offline Sources. Pew Internet and American Life Project. Available online at http://www.pewInternet.org/∼/media//Files/Reports/2009/PIP_Health_2009.pdf [Accessed December 2012].Google Scholar
Freese, J., Rivas, S. and Hargittai, E. 2006. Cognitive ability and Internet use among older adults. Poetics, 34, 4/5, 236–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gilleard, C. and Higgs, P. 2008. Internet use and the digital divide in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. European Journal of Ageing, 5, 3, 233–9.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Goldfarb, A. and Prince, J. 2008. Internet adoption and usage patterns are different: implications for the digital divide. Information Economics and Policy, 20, 1, 215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goldwater, J. and Harris, Y. 2011. Using technology to enhance the aging experience: a market analysis of existing technologies. Ageing International, 36, 1, 528.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Graham, H. 2002. Building an inter-disciplinary science of health inequalities: the example of life course research. Social Science and Medicine, 55, 11, 2005–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Henner, T. 2009. An intergenerational approach to Internet training: student-led outreach to promote seniors' use of Internet health resources. Journal of Consumer Health on the Internet, 13, 4, 334–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hogeboom, D. L., McDermott, R. J., Perrin, K. M., Osman, H. and Bell-Ellison, B. A. 2010. Internet use and social networking among middle-aged and older adults. Educational Gerontology, 36, 93111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Horrigan, J. B. and Rainie, L. 2002. Emails that matter: changing patterns of Internet use over a year's time. IT and Society, 1, 1, 135–50.Google Scholar
Idler, E. L. and Benyamini, Y. 1997. Self-rated health and mortality: a review of twenty-seven community studies. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 38, 2137.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Jansen, J. 2010. Use of the Internet in Higher-income Households. Pew Internet and American Life Project. Available online at http://www.pewInternet.org/∼/media//Files/Reports/2010/PIP-Better-off-households-final.pdf [Accessed December 2012].Google Scholar
Jensen, J. D., King, A. J., Davis, L. A. and Guntzviller, L. M. 2010. Utilization of Internet technology by low-income adults: the role of health literacy, health numeracy, and computer assistance. Journal of Aging and Health, 22, 6, 804–26.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Jung, Y., Peng, W., Moran, M., Jin, S., McLaughlin, M., Cody, M., Jordan, M., Albright, J. and Silverstein, M. 2010. Low-income minority seniors' enrollment in a cybercafé: psychological barriers to crossing the digital divide. Educational Gerontology, 36, 3, 193212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kang, H. G., Mahoney, D. F., Hoenig, H., Hirth, V. A., Bonato, P., Hajjar, I. and Lipsitz, L. A. 2010. In situ monitoring of health in older adults: technologies and issues. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 58, 8, 1579–86.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kontos, E. Z., Bennett, G. G. and Viswanath, K. 2007. Barriers and facilitators to home computer and Internet use among urban novice computer users of low socioeconomic position. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 9, 4, E31.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kraus, I. K. and Hoyer, W. J. 1984. Technology and the older person: age, sex and experience as moderators of attitudes towards computers. In Robinson, P. K., Livingston, J. and Birren, J. E. (eds), Aging and Technological Advances. Plenum Press, New York, 349–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lazarus, W. and Mora, F. 2000. On-line Content for Low-income and Undeserved Americans: The Digital Divide's New Frontier. Children's Partnership, Santa Monica, California.Google Scholar
Lee, B., Chen, Y. and Hewitt, L. 2011. Age differences in constraints encountered by seniors in their use of computers and the Internet. Computers in Human Behavior, 27, 3, 1231–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lenhart, A., Horrigan, J., Raine, L., Allen, K., Boyce, A., Madden, M. and O'Grady, E. 2003. The Ever-shifting Internet Population: A New Look at Internet Access and the Digital Divide. Pew Internet and American Life Project. Available online at http://www.pewInternet.org/∼/media//Files/Reports/2003/PIP_Shifting_Net_Pop_Report.pdf.pdf [Accessed December 2012].Google Scholar
Livingstone, S. and Helsper, E. 2007. Gradations in digital inclusion: children, young people and the digital divide. New Media and Society, 9, 4, 671–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Looker, E. D. 1989. Accuracy of proxy reports of parental status characteristics. Sociology of Education, 62, 4, 257–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Luo, Y. and Waite, L. J. 2005. The impact of childhood and adult SES on physical, mental, and cognitive wellbeing in later life. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 60B, 2, S93S101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lynch, J. W. 2000. Socioeconomic factors in the behavioral and psychosocial epidemiology of cardiovascular disease. In Schneiderman, N., Gentry, J., da Silva, J. M., Speers, M. and Tomes, H. (eds), Integrating Behavioral and Social Sciences with Public Health. American Psychological Association, Washington DC, 5171.Google Scholar
Mare, R. D. 1990. Socioeconomic careers and differential mortality among older men in the United States. In Vallin, J., D'Souza, S. and Palloni, A. (eds), Measurement and Analysis of Mortality: New Approaches. Clarendon Press, New York, 362–87.Google Scholar
Marmot, M. G., Shipley, M., Brunner, E. and Hemingway, H. 2000. Relative contribution of early life and adult socioeconomic factors to adult morbidity in the Whitehall II study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 55, 5, 301–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Moone, R. P. and Lightfoot, E. 2009. Social marketing strategies for reaching older people with disabilities: findings from a survey of centers for independent living participants. Journal of Social Work in Disability and Rehabilitation, 8, 2, 6581.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Mossberger, K., Kaplan, D. and Gilbert, M. A. 2008. Going online without easy access: a tale of three cities. Journal of Urban Affairs, 30, 5, 469–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Murray, E. T., Mishra, G. D., Kuh, D., Guralnik, J., Black, S. and Hardy, R. 2011. Life course models of socioeconomic position and cardiovascular risk factors: 1946 birth cohort. Annals of Epidemiology, 21, 8, 589–97.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Nichola, A., Stubbs, A. and Woods, V. 2005. Psychological barriers to Internet usage among older adults in the UK. Informatics for Health and Social Care, 30, 1, 317.Google Scholar
Nie, N. H. and Hillygus, D. S. 2002. The impact of Internet use on sociability: time diary findings. IT and Society, 1, 1, 120.Google Scholar
Norris, P. 2001. Digital Divide: Civic Engagement, Information Poverty, and the Internet Worldwide. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Portacolone, E. 2011. The myth of independence for older Americans living alone in the Bay Area of San Francisco: a critical reflection. Ageing & Society, 31, 5, 803–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Reddick, C. G. 2006. The Internet, health information, and managing health: an examination on boomers and seniors. International Journal of Healthcare Informations System, 1, 2, 2038.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Reisenwitz, T., Iyer, R., Kuhlmeier, D. B. and Eastman, J. K. 2007. The elderly's Internet usage: an updated look. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 24, 7, 406–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ridolfo, H. and Maitland, A. 2011. Factors that influence the accuracy of adolescent proxy reporting of parental characteristics: a research note. Journal of Adolescence, 34, 1, 95103.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ryan, E. B., Szechtman, B. and Bodkin, J. 1992. Attitudes toward younger and older adults learning to use computers. Journals of Gerontology: Psychology Sciences, 47, 2, 96101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sarkadi, A. and Bremberg, S. 2005. Socially unbiased parenting support on the Internet: a cross-sectional study of users of a large Swedish parenting website. Child: Care, Health and Development, 31, 1, 4352.Google ScholarPubMed
Selwyn, N. 2004. Reconsidering political and popular understandings of the digital divide. New Media and Society, 6, 3, 341–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Selwyn, N., Gorard, S., Furlong, J. and Madden, L. 2003. Older adults' use of information and communications technology in everyday life. Ageing & Society, 23, 5, 561–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stepanikova, I., Nie, N. H. and He, X. 2010. Time on the Internet at home, loneliness, and life satisfaction: evidence from panel time-diary data. Computers in Human Behavior, 26, 3, 329–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tsatsou, P. 2011. Digital divides revisited: what is new about divides and their research? Media, Culture and Society, 33, 2, 317–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tsatsou, P., Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt, P. and Murru, M. 2009. Digital divides and children in Europe. In Livingstone, S. and Haddon, L. (eds), Kids Online. Policy Press, Bristol, UK, 107–19.Google Scholar
Turrell, G., Lynch, J. W., Kaplan, G. A., Everson, S. A., Helkala, E. and Kauhanen, J. 2002. Socioeconomic position across the lifecourse and cognitive function in late middle age. Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 57B, 1, S4351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
van Braak, J. and Kavadias, D. 2005. The influence of social demographic determinants on secondary school children's computer use, experience, beliefs and competence. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 14, 1, 4359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
van Dijk, J. 1999. The Network Society: Social Aspects of New Media. Sage, London.Google Scholar
van Dijk, J. 2005. The Network Society: Social Aspects of the New Media. Sage, Thousand Oaks, California.Google Scholar
Wallace, R. B. and Herzog, A. R. 1995. Overview of the health measures in the health and retirement study. Journal of Human Resources, 30, S84107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wild, K., Boise, L., Lundell, J. and Foucek, A. 2008. Unobtrusive in-home monitoring of cognitive and physical health: reactions and perceptions of older adults. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 27, 2, 181200.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wilson, K., Wallin, J. and Reiser, C. 2003. Social stratification and the digital divide. Social Science Computer Review, 2, 2, 133–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wresch, W. 1996. Disconnected: Haves and Have-nots in the Information Age. Rutgers University Press, Brunswick, New Jersey.Google Scholar

Full text views

Full text views reflects PDF downloads, PDFs sent to Google Drive, Dropbox and Kindle and HTML full text views.

Total number of HTML views: 52
Total number of PDF views: 191 *
View data table for this chart

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 17th January 2021. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Hostname: page-component-77fc7d77f9-n279q Total loading time: 0.216 Render date: 2021-01-17T01:26:40.554Z Query parameters: { "hasAccess": "0", "openAccess": "0", "isLogged": "0", "lang": "en" } Feature Flags last update: Sun Jan 17 2021 00:53:43 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time) Feature Flags: { "metrics": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "peerReview": true, "crossMark": true, "comments": true, "relatedCommentaries": true, "subject": true, "clr": true, "languageSwitch": true, "figures": false, "newCiteModal": false, "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true }

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Socio-economic status over the lifecourse and internet use in older adulthood
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Socio-economic status over the lifecourse and internet use in older adulthood
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Socio-economic status over the lifecourse and internet use in older adulthood
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *