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‘They think I’m really cool and nice’ : the impact of Internet support on the social networks and loneliness of young people with disabilities

journal contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by P Raghavendra, E Grace, L Newman, Denise Wood, T Connell
Today, young people use the Internet for social networking, learning and recreation. Young people with disabilities have fewer friends and reduced social networks. The aim was to investigate the effectiveness of one-on-one training to increase the use of the Internet by young people with disabilities to enhance their social networks and reduce loneliness.Eighteen young people aged 10-18 years with cerebral palsy, physical disability or acquired brain injury completed a social networks inventory and level of loneliness measure. Participants received assistive technology and training at their home to learn to use the Internet for building social networks. Post intervention testing revealed that the number of online communication partners increased significantly; however, there was no difference in measured levels of loneliness.Future research with larger number of participants with disabilities needs to be followed up longitudinally including investigating the meaning and role of online social connections for this group.

History

Volume

63

Issue

2

Start Page

22.1

End Page

22.15

Number of Pages

5

eISSN

1835-4270

ISSN

0040-2486

Location

Australia

Publisher

Swinburne University of Technology

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

Era Eligible

No

Journal

Telecommunications journal of Australia.

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