The Digital Divide and Veterans’ Health: Differences in Self-Reported Health by Internet Usage

Ori Swed, Connor Mc Devitt Sheehan, John Sibley Butler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The digital divide's implications on health inequality among American Military veterans has been discussed extensively in research; however, it remains unclear what is the association between Internet usage and health specifically among Veterans. We examine this question by addressing the growing digital gaps in the veteran population, looking at the association of Internet use and self-reported health. Using the National Survey of Veterans we find that compared to those who use the Internet daily, those who use the Internet less frequently have significantly higher odds of reporting “fair” or “poor” self-rated health. The significant association remained when demographic, socioeconomic, and military factors were controlled. While our results indicate that veterans that use the Internet more frequently report more favorable self-reported health, given our data we are unable to distinguish a causal relationship. We conclude by discussing potential policy interventions, targeting helping those who are left behind.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-258
Number of pages21
JournalArmed Forces and Society
Volume46
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

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Keywords

  • digital divide
  • health inequality
  • veterans
  • veterans’ health

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