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Uses and Gratifications Theory to Predict Use of Computer Mediated Communications Article

, University of San Francisco and SeniorNet, United States

IJET Volume 2, Number 1, ISSN 1077-9124 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA


This study examined the applicability of the uses and gratifications paradigm to predict level of older adult participation in a modern electronic communication mode. It tested the hypothesis that a needs gratification model explains senior citizens' social networking behaviors. A questionnaire identified demographics and subjects' needs gratification predictors and frequency of use of the online network. This information determined if a theoretical framework of uses and gratifications explains a significant amount of variance in a measure of frequency of participation in online networking, the separate and collective effects of these predictors on frequency of use, and the correlation among uses and gratifications and demographic predictors. The criterion variable was frequency of use. Results for the first research question were supported as well as the literature claims for other media use. The second research question found the uses and gratifications predictors better than any demographic predictor. The third research question found that there were only six significant intercorrelations between uses and gratification predictors and demographic predictors. This study demonstrated two things (a) a uses and gratifications model of media use can predict CMC use; and (b) much more research is needed exploring how the elderly use information technology.


Dixon, J. (1996). Uses and Gratifications Theory to Predict Use of Computer Mediated Communications. International Journal of Educational Telecommunications, 2(1), 3-27. Charlottesville, VA: AACE.


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