Title: How can technology help intergenerational reminiscence? A pilot study

Authors: Luca Morganti; Chiara Scaratti; Pietro Cipresso; Andrea Gaggioli; Silvio Bonfiglio; Giuseppe Riva

Addresses: Applied Technology for Neuro-Psychology Lab, Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Via Alessandro Magnasco 2, Milan, Italy ' Applied Technology for Neuro-Psychology Lab, Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Via Alessandro Magnasco 2, Milan, Italy ' Applied Technology for Neuro-Psychology Lab, Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Via Alessandro Magnasco 2, Milan, Italy ' Applied Technology for Neuro-Psychology Lab, Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Via Alessandro Magnasco 2, Milan, Italy; Department of Psychology, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Milan, Italy ' FIMI S.r.l., Via Saul Banfi 1, 21047, Saronno, Varese, Italy ' Applied Technology for Neuro-Psychology Lab, Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Via Alessandro Magnasco 2, Milan, Italy; Department of Psychology, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Milan, Italy

Abstract: The goal of this study was to test the usability and efficacy of a website designed to support intergenerational reminiscence. The website allows older persons to capture, digitally archive, and share their memories encapsulated in letters, newspaper clippings, postcards, photos and videos. The evaluation involved 44 seniors and 176 children and consisted in two main phases. In the first phase, the usability of the website was assessed in a sample of elderly participants. In the second phase, the efficacy of online reminiscence was tested against a control condition, in which elderly people shared personal memories with children without the support of technology. Main dependent measures included self-esteem, loneliness and enjoyment/engagement with the activity (flow). Findings showed that the website was usable and well-accepted. However, the use of the platform did not significantly improve the effects of intergenerational reminiscence, which is an activity that participants enjoyed in itself.

Keywords: intergenerational reminiscences; reminiscence systems; elderly; psycho-social wellbeing; old people; technology support; websites; memory capture; digital archives; memory sharing; personal memories; website usability; online reminiscence; self-esteem; loneliness; enjoyment; engagement.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2016.074275

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2016 Vol.12 No.1, pp.35 - 54

Available online: 15 Jan 2016 *

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