Presentation Title

Assistive and Interactive Technology Use for Social Communication in Non-White Adults

Advisor Information

Julie Blaskewicz Boron

Location

MBSC Ballroom - Poster #205 - U

Presentation Type

Poster

Start Date

4-3-2022 10:45 AM

End Date

4-3-2022 12:00 PM

Abstract

Recent literature suggests that COVID-19 has increased social isolation and loneliness. Across populations, this has been associated with reduced quality of life and poorer health outcomes. Notably, aging adults are at greater risk for both isolation and its negative effects. Assistive and interactive technologies (AITs) may be useful for reducing isolation risk by bolstering communication. However, rapid advancement of AITs may create new barriers, especially for marginalized/underserved communities. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore isolation and AIT utilization in a majority-non-white sample. Participants (N=82) completed a Qualtrics survey via Amazon Mechanical Turk. Respondents were categorized as younger adults (YA; N=34, ages 19-34, M=27.7±4.6); middle adults (MA; N=27, ages 35-49, M=41.9±4.1); and older adults (OA; N=20, ages 50-70, M=57.6±6.5). Data were part of a larger survey’s minority subset (92.5% non-white); participants dominantly identified as Black (36.5%) and Hispanic (34.2%). Results suggested most adults used basic AITs regularly. Standard AIT functions, including telephone calls and texting/messaging (YA=58.8%, MA=48.1%, OA=65%) were frequently reported. However, the data from the study suggested that people are having more in-person interaction now, compared to one year ago at this time (46.4%). Additionally, distanced communication was negatively correlated with overall socialization (-.231, p<.05). Social distancing may contribute to feelings of isolation; as such, these results may suggest that those relying on AITs for primary contact are at increased risk for loneliness. This research suggests that current AITs may not be sufficient in mitigating this risk, especially for aging adults needing in-person contact and improved technologies.

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COinS
 
Mar 4th, 10:45 AM Mar 4th, 12:00 PM

Assistive and Interactive Technology Use for Social Communication in Non-White Adults

MBSC Ballroom - Poster #205 - U

Recent literature suggests that COVID-19 has increased social isolation and loneliness. Across populations, this has been associated with reduced quality of life and poorer health outcomes. Notably, aging adults are at greater risk for both isolation and its negative effects. Assistive and interactive technologies (AITs) may be useful for reducing isolation risk by bolstering communication. However, rapid advancement of AITs may create new barriers, especially for marginalized/underserved communities. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore isolation and AIT utilization in a majority-non-white sample. Participants (N=82) completed a Qualtrics survey via Amazon Mechanical Turk. Respondents were categorized as younger adults (YA; N=34, ages 19-34, M=27.7±4.6); middle adults (MA; N=27, ages 35-49, M=41.9±4.1); and older adults (OA; N=20, ages 50-70, M=57.6±6.5). Data were part of a larger survey’s minority subset (92.5% non-white); participants dominantly identified as Black (36.5%) and Hispanic (34.2%). Results suggested most adults used basic AITs regularly. Standard AIT functions, including telephone calls and texting/messaging (YA=58.8%, MA=48.1%, OA=65%) were frequently reported. However, the data from the study suggested that people are having more in-person interaction now, compared to one year ago at this time (46.4%). Additionally, distanced communication was negatively correlated with overall socialization (-.231, p<.05). Social distancing may contribute to feelings of isolation; as such, these results may suggest that those relying on AITs for primary contact are at increased risk for loneliness. This research suggests that current AITs may not be sufficient in mitigating this risk, especially for aging adults needing in-person contact and improved technologies.