Examining the role of ICT usage in loneliness perception and mental health of the elderly in China

Xiumei Ma, Xiaofei Zhang, Xitong Guo, Kee hung Lai, Doug Vogel

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Loneliness and mental health are critical concerns for the elderly, but not much is known about this issue in China. This research empirically examines the role of information communication technology (ICT) among elderly users in the Chinese context, with a specific focus on the interplay between ICT and social isolation, in determining elders' loneliness and mental health. Survey data collected from 304 elderly participants in China show that ICT plays a significant yet complicated role in understanding the loneliness and mental health of elderly people. The findings indicate that ICT usage reduces loneliness perception, and this effect can be strengthened by elders' ICT self-efficacy. Furthermore, ICT usage strengthens the effect of social isolation on perceived loneliness, which is counterintuitive to common sense. Practitioners are advised to devote more attention to elderly people's mental health through promoting their online information communication channel usage and improving their ICT self-efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101718
JournalTechnology in Society
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Elderly in China
  • ICT usage
  • Loneliness
  • Mental health
  • Social isolation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Business and International Management
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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