Valuing e-inclusion: Social media and the social networks of adolescents with intellectual disability

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Abstract


Background:

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.

Results:
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.

Conclusions:
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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disabilities
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2019

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