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The Implications of Proxy Internet Use for the Internet Skills of Older Adults




1.9.2020 - 31.8.2023

Range on year:

0.53 FTE | 2020

Head: Andraž Petrovčič

Research activity:

Social sciences

The phases of the project and their realization:

- WP1: PROJECT MANAGEMENT (WP1.1: Project setup activities and reporting; wp1.2: project risk management and quality assurance; WP1.3: Data management); - WP2: UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF PIU IN THE CONTEXT OF DIGITAL INEQUALITIES AMONG OLDER ADULTS (WP2.1 A typology of socio-technical factors of digital inequalities among older adults; WP2.2 Systematic review of theoretical models of internet skills and learning strategies among older adults; WP2.3 The implications of PIU for digital (dis)engagement among older adults; WP2.4 Towards an explanatory conceptual model of PIU factors within the context of internet skills learning); - WP3: QUALITATIVE EVALUATION OF THE CONCEPTUAL MODEL OF PIU AND INTERNET SKILLS AMONG OLDER ADULTS (WP3.1 Development of the research design; WP3.2 Qualitative assessment with focus groups; WP3.3: Typology of digital (dis)engagement of older adults); - - WP4: LARGE-SCALE EMPIRICAL VALIDATION AND INVESTIGATION OF PIU AND INTERNET SKILLS AMONG OLDER ADULTS (WP4.1 Development of the research design; WP4.2 Systematic analysis of measurement instruments for measuring PIU and internet skills; WP4.3 Development of a new measurement instrument for PIU and the selection of internet skills inventories; WP4.4 Validation and optimization of the developed instruments for measuring PIU and internet skills; WP4.5 Nationwide representative survey study); - WP5: DISSEMINATION (WP5.1 Development of the project dissemination strategy; WP5.2 Execution of the dissemination and exploitation strategy; WP5.3 Final dissemination activities and expert validation of findings).

Research Organisation:


Citations for bibliographic records:


The overarching research aim of this project is to deepen our understanding of the notion of PIU on a theoretical and methodological level by integrating the PIU concept within existing theoretical models of digital inequalities and internet skills learning, and developing new frameworks for measuring PIU and for the validation of existing measures of internet skills among older adults. To this end, the project will use a mixedmethod approach to: a) Systematically examine existing theoretical and empirical elaborations of PIU and develop a comprehensive explanatory model of PIU socio-technical factors and outcomes in terms of different types of internet skills that explains the short- and long-term implications of PIU for digital (dis)engagement; b) Refine the proposed model based on focus group insights that will result in a typology of the digital (dis)engagement of older adults that could explain the role of PIU in the dynamics of transitions between stages of internet use in later life; and c) Carry out a large-scale survey in Slovenia that will test the proposed model and validate the developed innovative measure of PIU and internet skills among older adults.

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