Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


The purpose of this study is to explore the use of the Internet bulletin boards/Usenet newsgroups, email, and chat services by adults over age 50. Review of the literature showed that social isolation of older adults has many causal factors. Studies found that the use of telephone support groups has been helpful with cancer patients and caregivers of end-stage AIDS and Alzheimers' patients. Older members of an Internet bulletin board were invited to complete a questionnaire requesting information about their use of computer-mediated communications. Findings showed that 100% of those surveyed perceived an increase in their social network using computer mediated communications, and 64% formed ongoing relationships. The implications for social work include: using the Internet for accessing information, networking, case consultation, continuing education, conducting research, and lobbying for social justice.


SC 11.MSW.1996.Middaugh.J

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Social Work Commons