Older adults and attitutdes towards computers: Have they changed with recent advances in technology?
Quality of Life
Spinal Cord Injuries
Although the use of computers is expanding in the overall population, for older adults there still remains a "digital divide". Development of strategies to help insure that older people have equal opportunities to access computer technology depends on understanding why they have lower adoption rates. This paper examines changes in attitudes towards computers over time among a sample of 745 adults ranging in age from 18-75 yrs. Attitudes towards computers were assessed using the Attitudes Towards Computers Questionnaire across two time periods: 1994-1997 and 2000-2004. Over time, participants rated computers as less dehumanizing and reported an increased belief that computers were equally important to both genders. There were also age groups differences in ratings of comfort, efficacy, and control. The older adults reported less comfort, competence with computers. Over time, perceptions of having control over computers increased over time for the younger people but not for the middle-aged and older people. Understanding individual differences in attitudes towards computers is important to the design of intervention strategies such as training programs.