Cognitive Benefits of Online Social Networking for Healthy Older Adults
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Dept Psychol
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherOXFORD UNIV PRESS INC
CitationJanelle W Myhre, Matthias R Mehl, Elizabeth L Glisky, Cognitive Benefits of Online Social Networking for Healthy Older Adults, The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Volume 72, Issue 5, September 2017, Pages 752–760, https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbw025
Rights© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved.
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AbstractObjectives: Research suggests that older adults who remain socially active and cognitively engaged have better cognitive function than those who are isolated and disengaged. This study examined the efficacy of learning and using an online social networking website, Facebook.com, as an intervention to maintain or enhance cognitive function in older adults. Method: Forty-one older adults were assigned to learn and use Facebook (n = 14) or an online diary website (active control, n = 13) for 8 weeks or placed on a waitlist (n = 14). Outcome measures included neuropsychological tests of executive functions, memory, and processing speed and self-report questionnaires about social engagement. Results: The Facebook group showed a significant increase in a composite measure of updating, an executive function factor associated with complex working memory tasks, compared to no significant change in the control groups. Other measures of cognitive function and social support showed no differential improvement in the Facebook group. Discussion: Learning and using an online social networking site may provide specific benefits for complex working memory in a group of healthy older adults. This may reflect the particular cognitive demands associated with online social networking and/or the benefits of social engagement more generally.
Note12 month embargo; published online: 16 March 2016
VersionFinal accepted manuscript
SponsorsUniversity of Arizona Program in Cognitive Science; Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Research Foundation
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