Vol. 3 No. 2 (2020): International Journal of Aging Research
Research Articles

Determinants of a Digital Divide Among Able-Bodied Older Adults: Does “Feeling Too Old” Play a Role?”

Carol C. McDonough
University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • age-based digital divide, internet use, older adults, too old for internet use, ageism, senior centers, internet need, technophobia, internet benefits
How to Cite
Carol C. McDonough. (2020). Determinants of a Digital Divide Among Able-Bodied Older Adults: Does “Feeling Too Old” Play a Role?”. International Journal of Aging Research, 3(2), 60. https://doi.org/10.28933/ijoar-2020-02-2305


While younger adults have embraced internet technology, older adults have lagged behind in internet adoption. An age-based digital divide has developed globally. This is a concern because digital literacy is becoming an essential, rather than an optional, skill. This paper investigates the reasons why some able-bodied older adults with access to the internet choose not to use the internet. Previous studies of the age-based digital divide have identified income and education, and perceived need, as factors that influence internet use. This paper adds to knowledge on the age-based digital divide by studying the internet behavior of able-bodied older adults with internet access (rather than all older adults) and by investigating the association between “feeling too old to use the internet” and the internet use decision. This paper offers suggestions for bridging the age-based digital divide and discusses whether this divide will continue as younger adults, who are digital natives, become older adults.


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