ORIGINAL PAPER
Internet use for instrumental purposes in relation to the quality of life among elderly females and males in Poland – mediating effects of loneliness and social support
 
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1
Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kraków, Poland (Department of Medical Sociology, Chair of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine)
2
Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kraków, Poland (Chair of Internal Medicine and Gerontology)
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Grzegorz Wójcik   

Jagiellonian University Medical College, Department of Medical Sociology, Chair of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Kopernika 7a, 31-034 Kraków, Poland
Online publication date: 2021-12-09
 
 
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ABSTRACT
Objectives: The study explores the direct and indirect associations (i.e., through the extent of the level of loneliness and perceived social support) between internet use for instrumental purposes and the quality of life (QoL) among elderly females and males in Poland. Material and Methods: The analysis was based on 2001 face-to-face interviews performed among randomly selected individuals aged ≥65 years from the general population. The collected data was weighted to generalize the study sample for the reference population. The analysis was conducted using multiple linear regression models. The mediation effect was tested according to the Baron and Kenny approach. Results: The obtained results indicate that internet use for instrumental purposes is directly related to a better QoL of elderly Polish males. This positive effect among men also occurs indirectly, through the decrease in loneliness levels as well as the increase in social support scores. It has also been shown that among elderly females, the effect of internet use for instrumental purposes is not related to a better QoL, either directly or indirectly. Conclusions: Internet use for instrumental purposes seems to be important in enhancing a successful life among elderly male adults. However, these technologies are not associated with better QoL among females. Practitioners should be aware of these gender differences. The study adds to the previous studies by demonstrating that the feeling of loneliness and social support mediates the relationship between internet use for instrumental purposes and QoL among elderly males, whereas among elderly females this effect does not occur.
eISSN:1896-494X
ISSN:1232-1087