Ageing and Society


Enhancing computer self-efficacy and attitudes in multi-ethnic older adults: a randomised controlled study


a1 Psychology, California State University Northridge, California, USA.

a2 Psychology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.


Several studies have documented the health-related benefits of older adults' use of computer technology, but before they can be realised, older individuals must be positively inclined and confident in their ability to engage in computer-based environments. To facilitate the assessment of computer technology attitudes, one aim of the longitudinal study reported in this article was to test and refine a new 22-item measure of computer technology attitudes designed specifically for older adults, as none such were available. Another aim was to replicate, on a much larger scale, the successful findings of a preliminary study that tested a computer technology training programme for older adults. Ninety-six older men and women, mainly from non-European-American backgrounds, were randomly assigned to the waitlist/control or the experimental group. The same six-week, one-on-one training was administered to the control subjects at the completion of their post-test. The revised (17-item) version of the Older Adults' Computer Technology Attitudes Scale (OACTAS) showed strong reliability: the results of a factor analysis were robust, and two analyses of covariance demonstrated that the training programme induced significant changes in attitudes and self-efficacy. Such results encourage the recruitment of older persons into training programmes aimed at increasing computer technology attitudes and self-efficacy.

(Accepted October 16 2010)

(Online publication February 25 2011)


c1 Address for correspondence: Luciana Laganá, Psychology, California State University Northridge (CSUN), 18111 Nordhoff St., 8255 PSY Northridge, CA 91330-8255, USA. E-mail: