Online social networking and cognitive performance in older adults: A Greek-Canadian study

Published: Dec 15, 2017
social networking online networking executive control cognitive functions older adults
Stephanie Hatzifilalithis
Elisavet Chrysochoou
George Pavlidis
Ana B. Vivas

The present study examined the relation between cognitive performance and social networking in older adults from Canada and Greece. The two groups were matched on age, gender, education level, and MMSE scores. Participants reported the amount of both off-line and online networking, as well as the social support received in these contexts. Immediate and delayed recall, speed of processing, and executive functioning were also assessed. Online networking was associated with executive functioning. Interestingly, country context didn’t moderate the relationship, despite differences observed between Greeks and Canadians in executive functioning and online networking. Our findings suggest that online social participation could serve both as a source of social support and as cognitive training, benefiting older adults’ cognitive vitality. The findings are discussed in relation to the characteristics of the specific countries, stressing the need to explore the effects of online social networking and participation on cognitive function in the aging population.

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