CCE Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Information Systems (DCIS)


Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences


Maxine S Cohen

Committee Member

Eric S Ackerman

Committee Member

David S. Metcalf II


This research looked at the process of the diffusion of an innovation in the context of smartphones with American senior citizens. The subject of diffusion, or spread of a technology, is a rich and varied topic with more than 60 years of research. Much of this diffusion research does not go beyond the study of the original acceptance of a new idea. An on-line and face-to-face questionnaire was used to collect data from 155 seniors on the entire process of diffusion. The questionnaire was adaptive in nature, focusing questions directly at participants based on where they were in the diffusion process.

The scope of the study was limited to two areas: 1) to verify or refute the findings of the Senior Technology Acceptance & Adoption Model (STAM) in the setting of a more diverse population of seniors and the different technology of modern smartphones than the original small population of South African seniors using mobile-phones and 2) to look at the phenomenon of discontinuance of use after adoption.

The results show that seniors exhibit a much broader range of influences, behaviors, and motivations than the STAM model showed. Confirmed usefulness, ease of use, and other facilitating conditions play a significant role in how a technology moved from mere use to either being fully accepted or finally rejected. This research adds to the body of knowledge regarding the diffusion of technology, specifically adoption in seniors. Many existing models did not include the complete process by shortening the initial exploration and ignoring the discontinuance. These issues have been specifically addressed in a newly proposed model, the Senior Innovation Domestication and Life-cycle Model (SIDLM).