Social network sites as a means to support personal social capital and well-being in older age: An association study

Marianne Simons*, Jennifer Reijnders, Sanne Peeters, Mayke Janssens, Johan Lataster, Nele Jacobs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This study aims to gain a better understanding of the potential benefits of social network sites (SNS) as a means to help support personal social capital and well-being of older adults. Results are reported of a cross-sectional study in which a sample of Dutch older adults (n ​= ​410) with a social network site account and varying in age from 50 to 93 (M=64.6, SD ​= ​8.2) filled out a questionnaire including validated scales measuring SNS use, personal bonding and bridging social capital and psychological, social and emotional well-being. Regression analyses including relevant covariates supported our hypotheses that; (1) SNS use is positively associated with personal bonding social capital; (2) SNS use is positively associated with personal bridging social capital; (3) SNS use is positively associated with psychological well-being and (4) SNS use is positively associated with social well-being. No significant association was found between SNS use and emotional well-being. Although no conclusions of causality can be drawn, these results support the assumed potential of SNS as a means to help preserve personal social capital and well-being at an older age and add to the, still limited, research literature on this topic. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100067
JournalComputers in Human Behavior Reports
Volume3
Early online date25 Feb 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

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