Social media is a growing phenomenon, yet people with intellectual disability (ID) may not experience comparable access to this communication technology. Adolescents with ID may benefit from e-inclusion, especially as individuals with ID are at risk of having smaller social networks.
Materials and Methods:
The Social Network Guide was adapted to measure social media usage and used to examine the interpersonal relationships of adolescents with and without ID.
Adolescents with ID held smaller social networks with less developed informal relationships. However, friendship quality was comparable or superior to typically developing peers. Adolescents with ID interacted with a smaller percentage of contacts using social media. Social media use was predictive of the number of reported friendships and did not significantly predict critical comments.
Findings suggest that adolescents with ID have comparable access to social media but use these sites to interact with a smaller number of social contacts.