Older adults and technology adoption
Quality of Life
Spinal Cord Injuries
Access to computers and the Internet is a major public policy concern as technology has become a significant aspect of economic, social and health equity. Recent data suggest that although computer and Internet use is lower among older, as compared to younger adults access is increasing among older people. This paper examines changes in use of computers and the Internet over time (2000-2002 and 2006-2007) among two samples (N=424) of older adults ranging in age from 50-85 yrs. Data are also reported on changes in attitudes towards computers and how adoption is influenced by attitudes and demographic characteristics. Technology adoption and attitudes towards computers were assessed via questionnaire. Over time, although there was no difference in percentage of participants who had computer experience, both breadth of computer use and Internet use increased. Participants from the more recent time point also reported more comfort with computers. The data also indicated that age, education, and comfort with computers predicted breadth of computer and Internet use. Understanding factors that influence access is important to the development of strategies to close the gap between adopters and non-adopters.