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Attitudinal study of older adult African Americans' interaction with computers DISSERTATION

, Florida Atlantic University, United States

Florida Atlantic University . Awarded

Abstract

It was estimated that 35 million people age 65 or older lived in the United States in 2000. Of that number 2.8 million were Black/African American. The U.S. Census Bureau's (2000) population projections show that there will be 70 million older adults age 65 or older by 2030 and African Americans are expected to comprise over 12% of that population. In 1993 older adults had made less elective use of computers than younger adults, accounting for 24.2% of those age 55 to 64 and 4.9% of adults over age 65. By 2003 adults over age 65 recorded a 20.1% increase in computer usage becoming the fastest growing segment of computer users who are engaging in learning computer skills as a way of coping with the technological changes. Studies have found that greater experience with computers is associated with more positive attitudes; however, it has never been determined whether this is true of the older African American population since there is a paucity of research documenting their computer attitudes. This study utilized a mixed methods research design that included an experimental design and an inductive approach with interviews. The following findings emerged: (a) attitudes differed for older African Americans who received computer training and those who did not; (b) there was no distinction in computer attitude between older adult male and older adult females in the African American population; (c) there was no interaction effect on computer attitudes as moderated by training and gender; (d) older African Americans exhibited a positive disposition towards computers which elicited positive attitudes towards the technology; (e) older African Americans had a nascent need for computer self-efficacy; and (f) older African Americans constructed new meaning regarding computers as a result of their reflection on their computer interaction experience. The findings have established that older African Americans' attitudes can be influenced by direct computer experience and the study extends prior research by identifying the process by which attitude change takes place.

Citation

Lovell-Martin, N.L. Attitudinal study of older adult African Americans' interaction with computers. Ph.D. thesis, Florida Atlantic University. Retrieved September 25, 2017 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.

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