Bridging the Digital Divide for Older Adults via Intergenerational Mentor-Up

Othelia Eun Kyoung Lee, Do Hong Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Objectives: The effectiveness of Intergenerational Mentor-Up (IMU), an innovative intervention that engages college students in tutoring older adults, was examined with regard to eHealthy literacy and social isolation. Method: A total of 55 older adults (mean age = 73.82) participated in the six-session IMU tutorials. In this mixed methods study, quantitative and qualitative data were collected in a parallel fashion. Participants were interviewed after participating in the IMU. Results: Older adults presented significant improvement between pre- and postsurveys in various outcomes such as eHealth literacy, technophobia, self-efficacy, and interest in technology. Intergenerational interaction brought about by IMU helped to decrease social isolation among older adults. Qualitative data revealed that individualized training, modifications, adaptations, and intergenerational interactions can decrease their anxiety and boost their confidence. Discussion: Study findings enable the identification of the training needs to help close the digital divide and allow these older adults to reap the benefits of technology use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)786-795
Number of pages10
JournalResearch on Social Work Practice
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • eHealth literacy
  • health information technology
  • intergenerational learning
  • social isolation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Psychology


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