ICT Use and loneliness during COVID-19 pandemic: The case of European male and female older workers

Zaccaria, Daniele and Sala, Emanuela and Cretazzo, Federica (2023) ICT Use and loneliness during COVID-19 pandemic: The case of European male and female older workers. In: Gao, Q. and Zhou, J., (eds.) Human aspects of IT for the aged population. Springer, Cham, pp. 302-318.

Full text not available from this repository.


While loneliness has been recognised as a public health issue for a long time, it has become one of the biggest challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing measures introduced to contrast the COVID-19 outbreaks have led to the spread of remote working. Previous research findings documented the detrimental effect of working from home on workers' well-being, often leading to an increase of the risk of experiencing loneliness. ICT use has been recognised as one of the most useful resources on which workers can rely on to maintain good work performance and to prevent feelings of loneliness. Surprisingly, there is a shortage of research on older workers’ loneliness during the pandemic, although they are a category of workers that, due to their lower digital skills, can suffer greatly from the adverse effects of working remotely in COVID-19’s time. Adopting a gender-sensitive approach, this paper explores the association between pre-pandemic patterns of ICT use and old-age loneliness during the first COVID-19 outbreak, focusing on older European workers (i.e., people in employment aged 50 or over). We use data from 2020 SHARE COVID-19 Wave 8 (2020), a large-scale longitudinal survey on European older adults, to perform a set of multinomial logistic regression models, controlling for an heterogeneous set of possible mediators (i.e., socio-demographic characteristics, health conditions, contact frequency, digital skills and quality of Internet connection, and the economic sector of activity). Key findings from our analysis are that (i) ICT use may be a protective factor against the risk of loneliness amongst European older workers, (ii) the association between ICT use and loneliness is mediated by a number of individual characteristics (e.g., socio-demographics), and (iii) this association varies by gender.

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item