Ageing and Society

Articles

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

LUCIANA LAGANÁa1 c1, TAYLOR OLIVERa2, ANDREW AINSWORTHa1 and MARC EDWARDSa1

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

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

ABSTRACT

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)

Correspondence:

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