Testing the Reliability and Validity of Computer-mediated Social Support Measures Among Older Adults: A Pilot Study

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With the increasing number of older adult online users, the Internet and e-mail are becoming a new source of social support for older adults. To assess this computer-mediated social support, two traditional social support measures were modified: (1) the Lubben Social Network Scale and (2) the Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Survey. The purpose of this pilot study was to test the reliability and validity of these modified measures. This study was a single group descriptive study with two data collection points. Data were collected using Web surveys. A total of 38 older adult participants completed the first survey; 35, the second survey. The findings of this preliminary study provided evidence for the reliability, content validity, and, to a limited extent, construct validity, of the modified measures. Additional studies with a larger representative sample are needed to further examine the psychometric aspects of these measures.

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