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This Note describes an experiment to determine whether computer-based communication networks could play a real role in retirees' lives, helping establish and maintain relationships among geographically dispersed groups of retirees and employees. The authors explain how they taught retirees to use a computer network and discuss the methods they used to observe the patterns and levels of computer network activity. The study found that email increased the interactions within the electronic group; it was consistently given a positive rating in surveys of its users. The findings also show that older people can learn to use computers, but they require access to various types of instruction.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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