2PS - An investigation into the role of traditional and...

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An investigation into the role of traditional and computer-based social networking on the psychological identity and well-being of older adults Urszula Frackiewicz Postgraduate Researcher in Psychology Bournemouth University, UK (44) (0)7946104837 ufrackiewicz@bournemouth.ac.uk Dr Jacqui Taylor Senior Lecturer in Psychology & Computing Bournemouth University, UK (44) (0)1202 965313 jtaylor@bournemouth.ac.uk Becky House Senior Lecturer, Programme Leader of Psychology Bournemouth University, UK (44) (0) 1202 965417 bhouse@bournemouth.ac.uk ABSTRACT Increasing life-span and advances in medical practice have led to more people who are physically fit and/or mentally agile in a social grouping traditionally identified as being elderly. Development of identity occurs throughout the lifespan and in this age group there are often significant changes to family and work relationships (e.g. redundancy, retirement, children leaving home, grandparent roles, divorce, bereavement etc). Throughout the lifespan, the importance of relevant social support and communication networks is widely recognized as enhancing positive development of identity and well-being. However, social changes (specifically diminishing community life, smaller families, early retirement, families spread geographically) decrease the availability of traditional support structures for many older adults. This lack of support during identity development can lead to feelings of reduced self-worth, role confusion, isolation, depression and physical illness. It is proposed that ‘technological apprehension’ in older adults denies them the opportunity for alternative support networks and ‘online identities’. In summary, this project aims to evaluate the role of ‘traditional’ and online support mechanisms (e.g. online social networking) on identity in older adults and how these mechanisms affect well-being. Categories and Subject Descriptors K.8 PERSONAL COMPUTING: Miscellaneous – computer- mediated communication, social networks. General Terms Measurement, Documentation, Performance, Design, Human Factors, Standardization, Theory, Verification. Keywords
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2PS - An investigation into the role of traditional and...

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