|Title||Reciprocal associations between social media use and self-perception of aging among older adults: Do men and women differ?|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2023|
|Authors||Wang, K, Gu, D|
|Journal||Soc Sci Med|
|Date Published||2023 Mar|
|Keywords||Adult, Age Factors, Aged, Aging, Female, Humans, Male, Retirement, Self Concept, Social media|
PURPOSE: Despite the positive impact of social media use in late adulthood, social media use is still low among older adults. Research in technology adoption and utilization indicates the importance of age-specific factors, such as self-perception of aging (SPA). As it is unclear whether SPA facilitates social media use or social media use promotes SPA, reverse causality has emerged as a major point of contention within this literature, with several studies reporting conflicting results. Thus, in this study, we aim to contribute unique insight by examining (1) whether positive and negative SPAs demonstrate unique associations with social media use and (2) whether these reciprocal associations differ by gender.
METHODS: Using two waves (2014 and 2018) from the Health and Retirement Study, 4101 older Americans (age ≥65 years) with normal baseline cognition were included in this study. Autoregressive cross-lagged analyses were conducted to assess reciprocal associations between SPA and social media use among the total sample and by gender subgroups.
RESULTS: Controlling for covariates, we found that more frequent social media use marginally predicted higher positive SPA four years later (B = 0.02, p = .07), and higher negative SPA marginally predicted less frequent social media use four years later (B = -0.07, p = .08). However, the by-gender analysis showed that the positive effect of social media use on positive SPA was only significant among older men (B = 0.04, p < .05), whereas the negative impact of negative SPA on social media use only existed among older women (B = -0.13, p < .01).
CONCLUSIONS: The reciprocal associations between SPA and social media use differ by the valence of SPA (positive/negative) and gender. Future interventions for SPA and digital technology use among older adults should be gender-tailored.
|Grant List||U01 AG009740 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States|